Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve

On the cusp of a New Year and a new decade I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe New Year. Thank you SO much for reading my blog and commenting. I really appreciate your support. I enjoy the virtual friendships I've made through the blog community. 

I  just got off the phone with my Mum and have seen in the New Year with her. The rest of the evening here will be a quiet one. Husband says he doesn't know if he is staying up. I probably shall as midnight is when I usually go to bed. It was snowy here today so I didn't go out, but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and we are off for an early walk. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Start of a New Week

Aaargh...I accidentally signed out of my blog account, couldn't remember my password so I had to reset it and now it's acting all strange. Every time I try to look something up it says something about signing in but I'm already signed in. Even when I'm writing this post it keeps telling me to sign in. Grrrr. It's driving me crazy.

That's the rant for the day.

It's blustery here today and the temperature is dropping. We are expecting snow tomorrow. I am all prepared. If I can't go out for a walk tomorrow I shall be staying in and crafting. I have been watching videos to make journals and there's one I'm going to give a try. A while back I bought a Cinch binding machine and (hanging my head) I never ended up using it. I got it out today and tried it. I shall be using it. I think 2020 might have to be the year where I use something/read something or get rid of it.

I did some crafting yesterday and today. I am pleased to say that I have managed to keep up with my December Daily -- one day to go (yah me!). I am also pleased to say that I completed the 30 Day Seasonal Photo Challenge in my online camera club that I am a part of. It might not sound much to others, but I am really pleased as I struggle to complete things like this.

I've been thinking a lot about things I'd like to accomplish next year and my word of the year. I haven't really come up with either. I have a few things tossing about in my head. Perhaps I will write them down and see if I can make head or tails of the thoughts or what direction they are taking.

Anybody else thinking of ideas for the New Year?

Saturday, December 28, 2019

After the Holidays

It feels really weird this week. I don't think it helps that Christmas Day was on a Wednesday. It seemed like it was neither here nor there - not at one weekend or the other. I didn't join in the other Christmas madness shopping. There wasn't really anything I needed or wanted. I bought wrapping paper at the dollar shop this year - it was Hallmark paper which is quite a good make and it had grid lines on the back lol - and used it all up. I have bought some in the after-Christmas sales and always seems to end up forgetting where I put it so I don't bother anymore.

We did get up early on Boxing Day (26th) and headed out for a walk. There is a lighthouse I like to go to but it's quite the drive so we started up early and got there early enough that we were the only car in the car park! It's a 1.8 mile hike to the lighthouse and the same back but we had the lighthouse (the actually is closed for the season) to ourselves. The winds in October and November have really done some damage. From the debris it looked as though the water almost came up to the lighthouse! It came up and over the barrier you can see in the photo and carved a sort of stream in the sand. I've never seen it that high.

As you can see it was a beautiful sunny day and not too cold at all. The sand dunes around the lighthouse were still somewhat frozen so we were able to take a walk in the dunes where we haven't been before (it's a lot easier to walk on frozen sand than regular fine sand). By the time we got back to the car park there were plenty of cars there and quite a few people on the beach. It was a wonderful way to spend the day!

Hubby went back to work Friday and the clouds had returned so I didn't take a walk - we'd done almost five miles on Boxing Day so I thought I could do without as the weather was horrible. I did a bit of tidying and got a few Christmas bits put aside ready to be packed away. When I got up this morning  husband had already taken the tree down and packed everything away! It was cloudy again this morning but we went for a quick walk before I Skyped with Mum.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain all day long. We have already decided not to go for our usual walk. Husband is going to do something with son in the morning. I am classing it as a totally 'free' day - no cleaning or sorting - so I shall read a book and do some crafting.

Hope everyone had a good holiday and is recovering nicely.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Happy Christmas

Hope everyone has a happy and peaceful Christmas. It can be both a happy time of year and rather sad. I always miss Mum and family in England at this time of year especially when people are talking about all their family being together. I'm missing daughter too. I think it's difficult for her too. She sounded a little down. I know exactly how she feels as I'm sort of stuck on both sides - away from daughter and away from Mum. I shall see daughter again in a few weeks so that's what we're trying to keep sight of and look forward to.

I had a lovely day - too much food and lots of gifts. I was very lucky to receive a new lens for my camera from husband and son. It was a lovely surprise. It is a wider angle lens for landscape photography. I am itching to get out tomorrow and see what sort of pics I can take. Husband took the day off work - here in America Christmas is only one day but we always try to do something special on Boxing Day. Now that the kids are all grown it's usually a walk. I'm hoping the sun will be shining tomorrow so we can get out.

Monday, December 23, 2019

T'was the Night Before the Night Before...

I'm feeling a little more relaxed about things. I think it is now to the point where if it hasn't happen or been bought it won't be.

Joy - I did get caught up with my daily book. It felt good to be caught up. I have rather enjoyed it though it didn't quite happen as I planned. Do things ever? I am happy that I have kept going with it as sticking to projects is something I am not good at.

I spent today putting finishing touches on items. I am looking forward to doing more crafting once the holidays are over. It seems to me that the time leading up to the holidays is so crazy and then suddenly it's all over and there seems to be lots of spare time. While I'm in the mood to craft I'm going to take advantage and start on some projects. I got lots of goodies from daughter for presents when we went to visit so I want to make sure to use them and show her the projects I've used them for.

I finally took a few phone photos of some easy projects.

These are lovely little treat boxes that hold a few little sweets. They are fairly easy to make  - that being said it's been a while since I made them and I messed the first one up completely!

And a couple of quick shaker cards from a kit I bought at Tuesday Morning (a discount shop). The kits are fairly cheap and are really easy to make - nice to keep on hand for quick homemade cards.

I also wanted to share some lovely makes from my MIL. She is such a talented craftswoman. She can do just about anything - knitting, crocheting, beading, sewing, cross stitching - really a very talented woman. I absolutely love these birds.

She always does some sort of ornament at Christmas and every year they seem to be better!

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Happy Winter Solstice!

I am always excited by the winter solstice. I know there is still a long, cold and snowy winter to go, but knowing that the darkest day is done and the days will only start getting longer is a comfort somehow. It was actually quite a nice day today. The sun was shining quite brightly when we went out. We took a quick drive to the lakeshore and managed a few photos of the melting ice. It was actually quite quiet out walking. I think most people were shopping. I avoided shopping today. I've done a lot of holiday all week and wanted one day just to relax and enjoy.

I Skyped with my Mum. She is all prepared for the Christmas holiday. She received the calendars and cards that I sent as well as the GC I ordered from W.H Smith (bookshop in England). They are always really prompt about shipping. Mum loves watching out for the 1/2 price books they have on offer. My sister was at Mum's flat when the postman rang the doorbell which was good as sometimes Mum doesn't always hear it too well as she has an upstairs flat (it does have it's own door leading outside). I ordered her a couple of books from Amazon UK that will arrive at her post office on Monday - it's easier for Mum to pick them up as the post office is quite close to her house. I shall talk to her again on Christmas Eve.

This afternoon I did some crafting. I have fallen a little behind on my December daily so worked on that for a while as I am all done with anything else Christmas-y. I do have to put away all the holiday in my craft room but that's for another day.

I might try to see if I can see anything of the moon tonight. Or I might not. I am currently toasty warm as I've had a lovely bath and am in my PJs so might not venture outside lol.

Today's photo - a lovely snowy walk in the woods. This was taken yesterday before the snow started to melt. I might not like driving in the snow, but there is something lovely and peaceful about it.

Thursday, December 19, 2019


Today is my daughter's birthday. She turned 26. Wow, I'm not sure where the years went. We chatted for a while today. She had work but this evening her boyfriend is taking her out to dinner. She said she went out to lunch with friends from work so not a bad day. I'm so proud of the woman she's become. She must have a bit of adventurer in her as she struck out on her own and moved hundreds of miles away, knowing absolutely nobody just so she could have a good job. Although she is far away she has made a life for herself there, made some good friends and met her boyfriend. I have hopes that maybe one day she'll move back but otherwise I'll have a place to go visit. Minnesota is a beautiful state - very cold though!

It was bitterly cold this morning, but I did go for a walk. I didn't realise just how cold it was! The sun was shining though and I felt as though I had to get out. The roads were a lot clearer so I managed to get most of what I wanted done today. I think I do have to go out tomorrow. I am itching to get back into my craft room. I didn't do any today. I wrapped some more presents. It's driving me crazy. I absolutely hate wrapping. Thankfully it's almost done.

Today's photo - a visitor to the snowy garden. Poor squirrel needed some food!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Easing Back into the Week

I  managed to get some errands done yesterday - though I forgot to make a list and forgot two of the things I needed to get done, so ended up having to go back out again! Grrrr… I was going to leave the running around until today but yesterday our area popped up with a Winter Weather Advisory due to a snow storm and I hate driving in the snow so decided to go on Tuesday. Today when I woke I was glad that I did go yesterday! It was horrible out first thing - snowy and grey - the hill outside my house didn't look great. I ended up wrapping up some gifts and cleaning up some more before calling mum. We hadn't talked for a week so it was really good to chat with her. After I hung I saw that things had cleared up a little outside so I decided to wrap up warmly and go for a quick walk. Some days I feel really cooped up in the house and a walk always helps. The sun was actually shining a little! I think the birds were stocking up on food. They were out in droves when I put out food.

This little bird pinched a peanut off the porch railing. The peanut was almost as big as the bird!

While we were in Minnesota I did manage to persuade the others to stop at the gardens in St. Cloud. I was so glad to be able to see them in July while things were at full bloom. I was interested in getting another look at them. It was quite eerie walking along. I was the only one walking the cleared path. It wasn't possible to get in many of the gardens - I can't imagine there's much call for everything to be ploughed during winter. With the white, undisturbed snow some of the features seemed to stand alone - including the one below.

If the roads are cleared tomorrow I hope to finish my shopping and then come home and finish the wrapping. Admittedly I shall be glad when it is all finished!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Busy Week

Wow! I can't believe it's been a week since I wrote! It was a busy week. I was trying to finish up my mum's calendar and overseas cards so I could get all those in the post and finish shopping for daughter and boyfriend, wrap all their presents and get ready to go! We went away for a long weekend to visit daughter in Minnesota. It is quite a drive to their place from ours so we left early Friday morning - takes about 9/10 hours with minimal toilet breaks -  spent a full day with them Saturday and Sunday and then drove back on Monday. It's quite a tiring trip especially for so little time spent there, but we wanted to do our Christmas together and celebrate daughter's birthday (which will be on the 19th). We were pretty lucky with the drive back, but on the way there we hit a snow storm in Minnesota and it took more than an hour extra to drive! It was a really cold weekend so not a lot of time outside, but we got to spend some fun time together and watched a lot of Christmas films. It wasn't easy saying goodbye but I am planning a trip at the end of January so it will only be a little over a month before I see her again.

On our way back we saw this sign just in time for Christmas - there was a different one on the way down, but I wasn't quick enough to snap it!

I did manage a few photos so I'll try to sort and post some tomorrow. As I said it was quite cold and quite snowy so I wanted to try to at least get a few shots. We did stop on the way back at Minnehaha Falls. Husband hasn't seen it before and I wanted him to see it in winter as it is so beautiful. It wasn't all the way frozen, but there was lots of ice build up. He was really impressed!

I hope everyone had a good week. I have some catching up to do later this evening when things have quietened down. We exchanged gifts so I have things to put away and clothes to wash!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Snowy Day

It rained all day yesterday so I didn't go for a walk. It was supposed to be dry today - a little dusting of snow overnight - so I was ready to go for a walk today. Nope. I woke up and there were already a couple of inches outside. Obviously this was one of the 'miss' days for the weather forecast. It didn't stop snowing most of the day! I don't like driving in the snow BUT I have a new-to-me car that has all wheel drive so I thought I'd give it a go and just go down to the park for a walk. I managed to get there and back all right but then I stayed home. No more going out for me! Middle son called and said he was on his way to our place. I wasn't sure he would come because of the snow, but apparently he did only get a dusting where he was! Once he got here he couldn't believe how much we got - I think he thought I was joking!

Because I was indoors I did manage to get my Mum's calendar finished and I made two more gnomes to take with me to daughter - one for her and one for her boyfriend's mum.

I think because of the snow the birds were going crazy out in the garden. We're going to have another cold snap - as I write this it is -7C/19F. Poor daughter is -24C/-11F (and it feels even colder than that!). I'm hoping they warm up a bit by the weekend when we visit. Anyway I'm pretty sure that the birds can tell when bad weather is coming as they tend to stock up. I put out bird seed a couple of times today.

Here's a couple of photos from today out in the garden.

Hopefully the snow has ended for now and maybe I can go out a little longer tomorrow - as long as I have my long undies on!

Monday, December 9, 2019

And So Another Week Begins....

I did manage to get the tea I wanted on Saturday. I got it on sale and because I was a member (free) I got an extra 10% off! I did end up buying other things there. It's a shop that sells different things from around the world and when I went in there holiday chocolates and goodies were 40% off (plus the extra 10%) and they had some British chocolates so I got some for Christmas. When I was a child Mum always put out food goodies at Christmas. They would be on our sideboard and we'd be able to eat the treats we couldn't the rest of the year. I still try to do that each year. Of course when I was child (makes me sound really old!) we didn't have sweets every day, they really were a rare treat.

Husband didn't work Sunday so we did go out. The weather wasn't great, but it wasn't raining or snowing so we decided to go out for a bit. When I looked at my phone to see when the next sunshine would be it said December 17th! Yikes, I hope they are wrong.

On our travels we went to the lakeshore. We had another lot of strong winds in the week so we thought we'd check out another couple beaches and see how they had faired. It didn't look good. We saw several lots of steps that, at one time, must have gone from property down to the beach, but have been washed away.

We also thought we'd stop by and see how this house was faring. We visited last winter and thought it was a precarious place to build a house even then! I don't think it's been sold. I certainly wouldn't buy a house perched right on the edge.

You can see where they have tried to build a wall of stones from the house down to the lake and even in the lake. The fence you see is on the public beach area to stop winds/snow. Unfortunately there is no way to get down on the beach as after that fence there is a shear drop (quite large) down into the lake. There was caution tape up to warn people.

Perhaps the saddest thing we saw was this poor little tree. Once upon a time it was safely on the shore, but the lake waves were lapping over the base and I can't imagine it will be around much longer.

It's a horrible wet and grey dull day here today. I am off out to get a few bits and then shall - happily - spend the day inside tidying up and crafting. Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Friday, December 6, 2019

End of Week

I can't believe another week is done. Husband and oldest son have to work tomorrow so the house will be quiet. I am going off for a walk somewhere and I *might* do some shopping. I hate going shopping on Saturdays but I've just found out that somewhere has a sale on the tea middle son likes so am thinking of getting him some for a present.

I've finally got the photos for my Mum's calendar so I shall be working on that. Long story short - the place I ordered the photos from messed up. I'm not at all happy as they weren't very helpful and didn't feel the need to rectify the situation. I had to reorder at a higher price so I could get them to do the project. I decided to take a piece of advice from Jacky (and Elsa) and let it go. The photos are now in my hands and some are even on the project! I do have all the cards made that I need to make. So that's a plus. Anything else now is just extra. 

I'm not doing so well on the gift shopping. I don't like shopping. Well, I enjoy shopping for books, but that's about it. Unfortunately I can't just get everyone books. It would be so much easier! I have to at least have daughter's birthday and Christmas presents as well as her boyfriend's by Thursday as we are leaving next Friday for a weekend visit. It's a long way to drive for the weekend - hopefully no snowy roads - but I really want to see her before Christmas and her birthday. 

Pleased about :-

* I am keeping up with my December Daily!

* The washing machine didn't eat any socks this week - they all matched up! Oh how easily pleased I can be.

* My photographic projects seem to be coming together.

Today's photo - this is a snapshot of some of the animal cards I have managed this year. 

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Still Cloudy - Sigh

I managed to get the table cleaned off - for a day - before there was stuff on it again. The only difference now is that it does have a couple of seasonal bits on it to cheer me up. I played around a little with some indoor photography too as the weather has been so...dull. That also cheered me up a little.

I've managed to get all my cards made so I can cross that off the list. I haven't done any more shopping for presents but I'm going to do some more armchair shopping today. I do want to support local business' but I do so hate the crowds (grumble grumble). Even earlier in the mornings it seems to be so busy.

I have been working on a photography project. I belong to an online Camera Club and at the beginning of the year we resolved to do a Big Project. I decided on two that I'd like to do - one was more Black & White photography and the other to do a set of animal cards. Any sort of long term project is a struggle for me as I find it hard to stay on track but I am pleased to say that I have a large amount of Black & White photos. I have been sorting through them and have put together a couple of groups of them. It may not seem like much but I am very proud to have done them! I find that I really like Black & White photography and before starting the project I was of the mind that it was simply a matter of changing the colour. Now when I look to take a photo to convert to Black & White I am thinking of tones and textures. I am certainly going to do more. I think I'm going to put them in an album.

Today is going to be another cloudy day. I woke early and got up after oldest son had left for work. As I write this it is still early and dark out. I might go for a walk when it lightens up. I also have a couple of errands to run. I might actually get some crafting in today! I have continued on with the monthly journal so I shall do that.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable day!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

December Already

I feel as though December has come too soon. I don't particularly like the month - the days are some of the darkest of the year, the weather is mostly grey and dismal and people are rushing around with such urgency. I do look forward to the Solstice, knowing that - even though it doesn't seem like it - the darkest day of the year has passed and things will only get lighter. I find the month difficult too as everyone is talking about family, being together, going home for the holidays and I'm so far away from my Mum and sisters - and now - my daughter. I understand people have it a lot worse, with loved ones not around at all anymore. This year I've decided that I'm going to (try!) to do some sort of daily journal. It might be a little of everything though hopefully bright and happy more than sad.

This is day one

I don't do much for decorations about the house, but I might get some colourful, seasonal flowers to put in the house. I like the thought of brightening things up a bit. Perhaps that's why some people really enjoy decorating for Christmas. I do need to get the table cleaned off again - it seems to be a magnet for 'stuff' and - although it was clean for a while - things have slowly found their way there again.

Job for tomorrow - clean off the table, light a seasonal candle (I do love those!) and maybe get some flowers or put my gnomes out to cheer things up!

Hope for tomorrow - sunshine, just a little.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Wild Waves at the Lakeshore

I did end up going to the lakeshore a little later in the afternoon after ringing my Mum and chatting with her. I was going to wait until husband got off work, but he's on nine hour days and by the time he had got home and we got to the lakeshore I knew the light would be fading. So I got up the courage to go by myself. The drive wasn't too bad, but I was glad I left when I did. When I got there the water had come up over half of the car park. Some people were driving through it to go round and park, but I wasn't that brave. I ended up pulling through a parking place to another that was out of the water. The water got higher and was quite deep by the time I left.  It was cold and a little rainy so I had to make sure to try to keep my lens dry and clean. I did get a little wet as - though I was standing what I thought was well enough back - a wave came up and went over my boots wetting my feet. Brrr… it was cold!

It always amazes me just how wild the waves get. The lake looked really angry as the skies were dark too. I ended up moving up to the cliff top and walking down some steps to higher beach to get some photos. I wish I had started out there as it seemed a little less crowded and safer. There are lots of people who come to see the water when it gets that wild.

I took this photo just so I could document how far up the water came. The car is not even in the furthest part of the car park. They were a lot braver (or more stupid) than me. I would not have parked there! You can see nothing of the beach at all.

A couple of different views.  I'm glad I went - but I've had enough excitement for a couple of days!

I hope everyone in America who celebrates Thanksgiving had an enjoyable day. It was a pretty quiet one here. We did go to MIL's for dinner - lovely as always.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Windy Wednesday

It's a terribly windy day today. I am thinking of maybe heading over to the lakeshore for the waves. Usually I'd look at the online camera by the lighthouse but it isn't working. We are under a warning of some kind so hoping the power doesn't go out. I think I'd rather have the wind/rain than the snow daughter is having over in Minnesota. Luckily she chose to work from home today. The place she works for allows them x amount of days to work from home per quarter, so she chose to stay home today.

I am making progress on the Christmas projects. I have made some cards - one of which is below. I quite like them. They turned out quite cute. I now have to make the envelopes and post them maybe next week. It will feel good having them done. I always make special ones for Mum and my sisters.

I hope everyone is having a good Wednesday. I'm going to ring my mum and then make up my mind about travelling to the lake.

Sunday, November 24, 2019


Quite a quiet weekend. We did our usual Saturday morning out, Sunday out having an adventure. The weather today was actually lovely - beautiful and sunny - it was a little cold this morning. There was quite a frost which I don't think people were expecting. We saw four accidents on our way up to our first destination. The road was quite slippery in spots and we were up and out before the sun came up as we were going somewhere two and a half hours away. Luckily we were okay. Husband is a good driver in the not-so-good weather.

Yesterday I actually got out to see a sunset. I don't often get to go see one. There are three cars at our house and mine is usually hemmed in as I am the last one to go out in the morning. As we were taking my car today I was the one at the end and able to get out. As the sun was shining yesterday too (two days in a row - can't remember the last time that happened!) I decided to get out and see the sun set.

It was really pretty. The colours in the sky were quite purple and red, deep and dark. I was tempted to hang around longer, but I had to walk back to the car park and I didn't want to get caught while it was too dark. I love sunsets. I wish I lived somewhere I could just sit in my back garden and watch. There is something so calming about them.

It's back to the starting of another week tomorrow.  It looks as though there might be another sunny day so I shall be out walking if there is. I have some cleaning to do and then maybe some crafting. I have decided to scale down Christmas projects so I don't stress myself out too much.

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Making Progress

Thanks for the all the comments on the last post. I still haven't made my mind up about the books - I might give the altered book a try. I think I might think on it and wait until the holidays are over. I need to make sure I get the things done that I have in mind before letting myself think about taking on new projects. Speaking of projects, I have been working on photos I need for holiday projects. I have taken a LOT of photos! Lots of ice and snow pictures! Sorting through them all took quite a bit of time, but I've managed it. I was feeling a little discouraged as sometimes I think I'm not getting any better and my photos aren't that good, but looking over the ones I've taken this year I'm actually encouraged. Even if I do say so myself I have taken some pretty nice photos! I really need to work out what I'm going to do with them. I had some ideas for this year and I've been working on them but they haven't exactly came to fruition yet. Another thing to work on. I see a theme coming on ha ha. I think I will be writing a Winter Project list to keep me going after the holidays, in the dark winter when I can't get out so much.

I am hoping to get out for a walk today. I haven't been for two days as the weather hasn't been too good and I wasn't feeling the greatest on Wednesday so I thought I'd give it a rest. Yesterday was raining like crazy and windy so I didn't go walking. I did go out with my friend for lunch. We had a lovely time, a nice chat and she brought her toddler granddaughter with her - always a treat as she's such a happy little girl. 

Photo for today - a lovely deer I saw in a local park a couple of weeks ago. I've never seen a deer here before. This park is further into the city and it's really busy (across the road from a school) so I was really surprised to see it. I love these creatures, they are so majestic!

Hope everyone has a great Friday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Random Questions

I keep meaning to ask these questions and keep forgetting - perhaps another sign I'm either going crazy or just getting old.

First Question: Do you eat leftovers the next night?

For most of the recipes I cook there ends up being too much of it. Most of the time there is just enough for husband's lunch that he can take to work or (if it's a veggie version) I'll eat it. However once in a while there is more than an extra lunch. Not sure what I should do with it. My family has never been one for eating one night's dinner as the next night's too. It just wasn't how we did things growing up or when I had kids. I cooked enough for one meal as did Mum. If possible I would freeze but (organised I'm not) probably wouldn't be eaten. I am really trying to cut down on food waste so wondered how other people deal with it. I really try not to keep serving the same food over and over, but maybe I'm overthinking things. (?). Sometimes I feel we should just be grateful we have a problem as too much food sometimes. I really don't mind eating the same thing several times as I tend to do that anyway.

Second Question : How do you feel about cutting up books?

This is a really random question. I love books. I have a lot of them. People that regularly read my blog hear me go on about it all the time. Anyway, I've been doing some journal making and watching videos of people making junk journals. I really like the idea of them. However, some of them use books to make them, pulling apart pages and cutting covers. I'm not sure how I feel about cutting books up. Just thinking about it makes me feel a little guilty. I bought one at the $ shop to cut out the pages so I could use the cover and it's sitting in my craft room as I bought it. I'd really love to give them a try. I watched a YouTube video today that used a Little Golden Book (lots of Disney type cheap Children books).

That's it. Told you they were random questions.

Photo today - a quick make Christmas card. I did finish a little mini book (pages, but not filled) but want to take some half decent photos and the light wasn't so good. I made this from die cut decoupage so it is dimensional.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Do You Ever Feel Like You're Going Crazy?

It's the beginning of a new week and I'm trying to get back to 'normal'. I did my normal things and then, because time is flying by, I decided to work on getting photos together for printing for my Mum's calendar. As I take a lot of photos I organise them on my computer by month and then break down into weeks. Admittedly it is about the only area of my life that I'm organised in. I started making note of what photos of the 'kids' I wanted to use. I also realise that I haven't taken all that many of them! I'm hoping I have enough. Anyway I'm sorting through, coming up short on the two sons and then thought - ah middle son got his cat and brought it up to visit and I took photos. I searched and searched and found nothing. It was driving me absolutely crazy. Almost overcooked dinner because I was looking! Later son called and I decided to ask him about his cat. It wasn't this year he actually got him - it was last year! No wonder I couldn't find the photos. I hadn't even taken them this year. Sigh. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. Or maybe it's just old age creeping in.

It was a little warmer today and - despite the weather people said - it was actually sunny today! All of the snow has melted (except in shady areas) so now everything is dull and grey. The leaves have mostly all fallen. There was still some ice and snow around yesterday when we went out on our walk, so today I'm sharing one of those photos. Hopefully I'll have some crafty photos soon!

I'm feeling quite sad about this beach. We couldn't even walk on it. There has been so much erosion that they are trying to save the dunes and asking people to keep off. When we first 'discovered' this beach it was beautiful to walk along and a lot bigger than it is now. All the wood you can see is debris that has been washed up with wind and waves. It is all along our lakeshore in the winter months. Once winter is over it will be cleaned up. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

End of Week

Daughter, her boyfriend and their three huskies have gone home. Had a lovely week. Unfortunately we weren't able to go where we intended on Thursday as the snow and roads were too bad. We were going to go visit Sleeping Bear Dunes, but when we checked out the weather further up the lakeshore the forecast wasn't good and the roads looked pretty dodgy - some of them not ploughed and there were reports of major snow. Instead we went over to the lakeshore closer to us. Daughter's boyfriend hadn't been to Michigan before so it was new to him. The dogs did great. Shasta - daughter's dog - has travelled a long way before and always does good, but her bf's dogs have never travelled really far before but they did great on the way here and on the way back! They all did great here. I think they had a lot of fun - they enjoyed the snow anyway!

It was hard saying goodbye but we will see them again in four weeks. We are going over to visit them for a long weekend in December to have a before-Christmas/Birthday celebration as we won't be seeing them over the holidays. I have to make sure I have all their shopping done before we visit.

Now I have to get back into 'normal' mode.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Burst of Winter

Daughter, her boyfriend and three huskies have come to visit from Minnesota for the week. I think they have brought the snow and cold with them.

My poor body is struggling to cope with the colder temperatures. It's currently 10am and it's -6C/21F and feels like -13C/9F. Maybe a little later in the winter I could deal with it but brrr… Thankfully I don't think it's supposed to last. It just had to be this week when they visited! We were hoping to go travel a couple of places, but I'm not sure with the snow as it is. Sigh. But it's great to see them and spend time with them!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Weather Moan & Gnomes

Brrr…. it's been cold today. I did bundle up and go for a walk. It was really quiet where I usually walk. I think most sensible people were staying indoors. It seems that overnight most of the leaves have fallen off the trees! The path was lined quite thickly with them and at home, in the garden, one tree had completely lost the leaves in one day!  Soon everything will be grey and dark to match the skies. Definitely not my most favourite time of year!

I did get up into my craft room for a bit and finished a couple of gnomes. I'm going to post a link to the YouTube video I watched to do these. They really are quite easy. Not my usual type of craft but really cute. After the fact I realised that the bells I got for the hats are really bit. I shall have to see if I have smaller ones. I liked that they were really cheap to make too - must of the supplies I got from the dollar shop. The only thing I got from the craft shop was the 'fur' to make the beard. I was watching another video though and they made (completely different gnomes) using a small mop head from the dollar store as the beard so I might see how big they actually are and if I could use that instead of the beard.

I quite like how they turned out. I was thinking about maybe making some smaller ones using children's socks instead so maybe there will be more to come!

How to Make Gnomes

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Short Days

I'm really struggling with the shorter days now that our time has changed. It gets dark so early and the nights seem so long. When it's cloudy outside it seems the day never brightens up at all. Now that the temperature has dropped I'm struggling with the cold too. My hands have been absolutely freezing the past couple of days and no amount of turning up the heat seems to help. I always seem to struggle when the temperature changes.

That's the moaning for the day lol.

I ran errands today as it was cloudy and cold. I walked yesterday quite a bit while it was sunny so today I decided to give it a miss. I did ring mum and have a nice chat with her. It's back to our normal time - no worrying whether I get the time right or not lol.

I did go upstairs and craft for a while. I'm trying to make some gnomes with things I found at the dollar shop. We shall see how that goes. The YouTube video makes it look so easy. Hopefully I'll have something to share in a couple of days. I have been working on Mum's calendar too. I have to sort through some photos and get them printed. While I was thinking about crafts I realised that I didn't share the Halloween cards I made. The designs are simple, but I seem to go for that rather than a lot of fussy bits on them.  I put them in a collage.

I have started on Christmas cards so hopefully I'll have some of them to share - and before the holiday too lol. Is anyone else working on crafts? Do you give out homemade gifts?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November 5

Happy Guy Fawke's Day!

It's our wedding anniversary today. I chose today to get married so I would never forget the date lol. We've been married 31 years. Yikes. Time flies!

Yesterday I went for a quick walk and then went with MIL to Michael's. I had ordered some paper pads online. They have really good sales if you chose the order online pick up in store. The paper pads were already on sale and then there was another 20% off if you ordered them online. I was good and bought nothing else while I was there. I was tempted by their $4 grab bags. After each 'season' (Halloween was this one) the store bags up things and sells them for $4. I thought about getting one just to see what was in it but decided not to bring anything else into the house.

Today I went for really long walk. It was cold, but sunny so I thought I'd get out today as tomorrow I will probably take a break. I did some sorting that I'd been putting off. I also had to call my Amazon credit card as they kept sending emails saying that there had been a charge on my account and to call the number on the back of the card. I did that. The guy (obviously) had to confirm it was me, but I hadn't updated my cell phone number (from years ago) so he couldn't send a text, so instead he wanted to ask me questions. Yikes. I know they have to verify it's me but asking me what my address 20 years ago or what cars we've owned (I can't even tell you what we own now lol) is ridiculous. My brain is too full of other useless stuff to remember those details! He finally believed it was me and will be sending me a new card. I haven't used it for ages, so I'm not sure where they got it from. The charge didn't look like me so they didn't approve it.  Glad that's over with. I shall be updating the account so I won't have to look so stupid the next time.

Today's photos are a couple of pictures I took of the Fantasy Forest hubby and I went to on Sunday. There are some great carvings there. They used some diseased trees to create the wonderful carvings.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


I survived my dentist appointment. I was really anxious and there was a point where I didn't think I could do it, but I took a deep breath, forced myself to relax and listen to the dentist and her assistant chat. It certainly helped. The appointment took an hour and a half, but it went fairly quickly. I was certainly glad when it was over! The rest of Thursday was horrible and rainy. There was even some snow in the evening!

Friday dawned cold, but bright and sunny. I made the most of it and spent a lot of the day walking around different parks, enjoying the beautiful colours enhanced by the sunlight. It's been such a dull week that it made quite a change. I obviously didn't get a lot done at home, but you have to enjoy it while you can!

Husband worked again Saturday so I went out by myself. I managed to go somewhere new with no road closures this time!

I have been managing to get some crafty things done. Now that November has started I can certainly feel time slipping away. I hate to mention the 'c' word but I need to start thinking about things. Sigh.

I have blog posts to catch up on. I hope everyone had a good weekend. Our clocks changed here in the US last night - good thing too as I was really confused calling Mum - but this day seems to have dragged!

Photo today from a lovely covered bridge. It's one of the few left in Michigan. It's from my adventure yesterday

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Rainy Days

Well, I'm glad I made the most of the sunshine on Sunday afternoon and Monday. Tuesday was cloudy and drizzly and today is cold, wet, rainy and icy. I'm planning on staying inside today. I ran errands yesterday while it was drizzly so I don't have to go out today. The forecast doesn't look good for tomorrow either - there is even the threat of the dreaded 's' word. I have a dentist appointment tomorrow so hopefully it won't be too bad. I get anxiety for the appointment, don't need it for the weather either!

I can't believe tomorrow is the last of the month! Yikes. I haven't done so good this month on the crafty items. Sigh. I shall try to do better. I have done pretty well on the book end. I haven't brought a lot of new books into the house but got rid of 43+ books! That beats my 31 goal. I am quite proud, though there are a lot more books to get rid of. I still have trouble sorting the ones I want to read and those I can do without. It's a path of progression! Today I'm doing some sorting so hopefully there will be more books to add before I drop them off at the donation place.

Today's photo is one of my chipmunk ones. Just in case I don't post tomorrow Happy Halloween/Samhain everyone!

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Weekend That Was

Husband worked on Saturday so I was on my own. I actually drove myself out to see a covered bridge and to take some photos. Husband had drawn me a map (so I could avoid a rather unnecessary motorway) but I also had my phone give me directions (which didn't end up being the same as husband's). I did get there, took some photos and then headed out to the park I had been to the week before. Unfortunately it was a rather cloudy day. Sigh. It's that time of year where the cloudy days seem to outnumber the sunny ones. 

When I got back I Skyped with Mum. It actually went well. Sometimes it's a little iffy but (crossed fingers) lately it's been working out. By the time we'd finished talking it was raining - it didn't stop until Sunday morning. I had been expecting Sunday to be a little brighter, but it wasn't to be. Husband and I went out anyway. I had resolved myself to no sunshine, but later in the afternoon, when we were almost home it came out! I was a little upset. Instead of moping around the house I decided to pack myself into my car and go back to the park I had been at the day before in hopes of some sunny photos. Husband stayed home so he could at least have a few hours to rest up. It was beautiful out. I was only planning on stopping quickly, but it was so lovely I ended up taking a walk as well. 

Look at those lovely clouds! And that reflection! Husband said he wished he had gone. 

So now it's the start of another week. I have a dreaded dentist appointment on Thursday that is making me wish the days away so I can get it over. It's occupying far too many of my thoughts. I've thought about cancelling it but then I would just be putting it off so I shall just have to put up with the anxiety that comes with the appointment and suck it up!

Friday, October 25, 2019


Wow, that's another week almost gone. I'm struggling with the dark mornings, nights and the cloudiness. I love Autumn, but I don't like winter. I really seem to struggle then. The days we have sun seem to get less and less and there seems to be so much more cloud around. I miss being able to get out walking and taking photos. It isn't quite the same when it's cloudy. I really need to find more indoor photography projects as taking photos keeps me sane and happy.

Work seems to be picking up for husband and the son that's still here at home. It always seems to do that at this time of year. Son had to work last weekend, is on 9 hour days and probably has to work this weekend too. It makes him (understandably) a little cranky. Husband is working 9+ hour days and won't know until today whether he has to work this weekend. If he works we will have to miss our weekend walk - though the weather (surprise?) doesn't look too promising anyway.

I got out yesterday for a walk despite the cloudiness, but I'm not sure about today. I was hoping to go to photograph colours, but they just aren't done justice when it's dull and cloudy so that might have to wait. I did get a start on Christmas shopping yesterday - just a couple of bits - some bags at the $ store and an item for daughter. It will be November next week and I don't want to leave it all until the last minute. We are going to visit daughter mid-December so will be taking gifts with us then as we won't see her at Christmas. It's so expensive to post things! Speaking of which - I looked at how much it would be to send a box to Mum at Christmas when I was at the post office the other week. I was so shocked! I know postage has gone up, but the increase in these boxes is just ridiculous and they don't seem to do slow package mail internationally anymore. For a large box they want $94.25. YIKES!!! Even for the flat rate envelope they want $36. Not too long ago it was about $15. No wonder people aren't using the post office!!! I try to send her things for Christmas which would almost mean shopping locally, but I don't know if I can afford it. Seems easier (and cheaper) just to order things from England and have them shipped to her for nothing. I'll have to seriously think on it. I will send the calendar which in itself would be quite expensive as it's handmade and has embellishments on it, but I shall try to watch the weight.

Sorry for the moan.

I seem to have been up forever. I couldn't sleep any longer and was having bad leg/feet cramps and got tired of jumping out of bed so I just got up. First load of wash is in, I've actually had breakfast and done a bit of tidying up. This is going to be a loooong day!

Photo of the day - I got sidetracked watching these little birds pinch peanuts I had up on the deck to give to the chipmunks when they came up to where I was sitting. They are usually quite shy, but once they found where I was keeping the peanuts they kept coming really close. Some of the peanuts are almost as big as they are! What's he thinking?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Another Day Dawns

Yikes, I just realised that it's been a few days since I posted. Time does seem to be flying by. It's a good thing I didn't decide that I would blog daily in October. It would be another thing I massively failed at.

On Friday the dawn dawned and it looked beautiful - chilly - but the sun was shining, so I decided to brave another drive. Guess what? Another road closed. Seems to be the story of my life. Anyway, at least this time there was a diversion in place and it was pretty short. I made it to the park I was going to. The colours weren't quite as spectacular as I thought they would be. It seems to be pretty hit and miss here still. I shall try to do another trip this week and get some colours. The winds have been pretty strong here lately though so the odds are the leaves will be falling rather than changing. Mmmm… perhaps that's why Americans call it fall rather than autumn?

The view was really beautiful though. There weren't many birds on the lake, only a couple of swans but they were nice to see as I haven't seem swans there before when I've been with husband.

I've been doing some crafting - I have a couple of Halloween cards to show too. I shall hopefully get those photographed today and maybe posted tomorrow. They are pretty simple ones, but I like them. I have been working on Mum's calendar too. I can't believe it will be November soon and then I will start to panic that it's getting closer to Christmas.

Hope everyone is well. I have some blogs to catch up on later today after my morning walk. It's pretty windy today and I thought I might go to the lake, but the winds seem to be in the wrong direction to hit the lighthouse. We always check on their YouTube channel before heading out as it is quite a drive!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Out and About

It's been a blustery, wet couple of days here. Even today, now that the wind has died down, it's quite gloomy. I took a leaf out of and took a drive by myself to somewhere I don't usually drive. As the winds were blowing I thought I'd take a drive to the lakeshore to try to get some photos. I've been there plenty of times with husband but not by myself (for a couple of years at least). It's not too difficult a drive but along with lacking self-confidence for other things I don't like driving places too far away. Anyway it started off okay, though it was raining when I left. However about half way there the road was closed due to an accident!!! I followed the directions on my Sat Nav/GPS but it took me around a long way. I was quite nervous, but I did make it! The drive back was a little better as the accident had been mostly cleared and the road was down to one lane.

I was glad I went. The waves were just wild. It always amazes me that a lake can create such waves! I would never believe it if I didn't see it for myself. Here's one of the photos I took. I was really carefully, standing back in these little concrete circles that were off the beach as the waves were coming up completely on the beach - even the playground was under water! There were people from the coast guard watching to make sure people weren't stupid enough to go onto the pier.

I managed to drive there and back, do some shopping I had on my list and get back in time to ring Mum. Today I'm trying to get ahead on the washing as tomorrow (fingers crossed) is supposed to be sunny and I might go hunting some Autumn colours to photograph.