Thursday, October 29, 2020

Bits and Bobs

Sometimes I struggle to decide what to write about. I usually have really great ideas when I am away from my computer. Put me in front of a 'new post' blank and I can't think of a thing to write lol. The days all seem to be blurring together with nothing new seeming to happen. I've been walking, doing my housework, reading and a little crafting. My cross stitch that I was working on is almost done but even that seems to be dragging on. By the time I get around to starting on my Halloween cross stitch (which I fancied doing next) Halloween will be over! I know sometimes people work on several cross stitch projects at once, but I seem to struggle with that. Maybe I should try it again. 

I finished another book. This is 98/100 on my Goodreads Book Challenge 2020 in which I said I was going to try to read 100 books this year. I'm up to 98 (that I've kept track of - there have been a few I forgot to add). This was one I actually picked up at the dollar store. For one dollar it was an enjoyable read. It also means that another book will be leaving the house. 

I'm already halfway through the next book that I picked out. I have also tried to start another couple and gave up as they just didn't interest me so they will be added to the pile to leave the house. I could hang onto them as I know I will find them interesting at some point, but I'm going to let them go. 

Tomorrow is supposed to be dry and bright so I will take another walk in the morning and maybe come home and do some crafting. I still haven't got started on the Christmas stuff. Sigh. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Poor Possum

I'm sad to say that the possum I posted in a previous post got caught by a hawk. I went outside to put some more birdseed out and the hawk flew away from the garden. When I looked where it had been the possum was dead. Poor thing. I did enjoy seeing it in the garden eating what the birds had left over. I suppose it is part of nature.

I walked out at the lake today. It was cloudy and chilly. When I got up the weather forecast said it wasn't going to rain but by the time I was done with the walk it was drizzling. That turned into a rain that lasted most of the day! I did do some crafting and a bit of reading. It was the sort of day that makes me feel a little blah. I know that more of these days are coming so I am going to have to come up with a plan going forward. It's going to be a long winter otherwise!

I did tick one thing off my list for this week. I did a deep sort/clean of the fridge. For those that know American fridges are very big. Condiments tend to get lost on the shelves. I am happy to say that I got it all sorted and am quite pleased with how it looks. It is one job I've been meaning to get done and have put off. I think next on the list will be the food cupboards. I'd like to get things organised as I have the feeling that shopping trips are going to be few and far between - by choice more than anything. 

Tomorrow I shall walk in the morning and chat with mum. I have to remember to ring her an hour later as English clocks have changed but ours haven't yet. The clocks here change this weekend so next week will be back to 'normal' - five hours difference. 

Photo Today - I have been participating in a 366 challenge. At the beginning of the year I chose a theme - Phone Photos Things That Make Me Smile. I am SO pleased that I am sticking with it and we have passed 300 days!!!!  Today is Day 301. This is the photo from today. Me. Smiling. Wearing my mask. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Cookbook - Going Down Memory Lane

I try to stay off Facebook. I check in with my photography groups and a couple of others. One of those is an Expat cooking group. It's always fun to talk about British food and goodies (chocolate yum) and where to find some of those. When I opened my Facebook this morning there was a post on there about an old-ish cookbook. I thought 'Ah I have one of those! Mum let me bring it to America with me'. I couldn't resist digging it out and taking a look through it. I learned to make flaky and rough puff pastry through this book. It also had a recipe for cream horns in it. When I was in Home Economics in secondary school these were my 'signature' dish. I used to make mine look like Dougal from The Magic Roundabout. The teacher always used to get a chuckle out of it. I haven't made them for so long but they were soooo tasty!

Over the years this book has been used so much that it is falling apart. This copy looks like it was published in 1971 - it's only a year younger than I am. I can't bring myself to get rid of it though! I like looking through and seeing what we used to cook and what was considered 'good' meals. 

Do you remember this cookbook? Do you have a favourite that brings back great memories? 

Saturday, October 24, 2020


Not a bad day today. It was really quite chilly (freezing) when we went out for our morning adventure. We went to the bird sanctuary. It's a nice a little walk and husband likes feeding the ducks and swans corn (purchased at the sanctuary). It was a bright morning so we wanted to make the most of it. Tomorrow will be back to cloudy.

I Skyped with Mum when I got back. She seemed okay today. Some days she doesn't sound too lively at all. I think this is wearing on her. She did get to go out for a little while yesterday - down to Felixstowe with oldest sister and her husband (he was on holiday this week and drives). She says the day ended early when the rain absolutely fell down and they got drenched on the way back to the car. It seems to help when she can go out. She hasn't been going into town as often as she used to and she doesn't go to church or choir anymore. I am thankful that the cases in her area are quite low though.

This afternoon I went up in my craft room for a little while and then came down and did some stitching. The last few bits of the cross stitch seem to be dragging on. Perhaps it's because I just want to be done with it at this point. I pulled out some more designs to look through. I want to pick a couple - they are small, free designs that I collected. I was thinking small holiday designs as I might make cards with them - something a little different. 

Photo today - a recent visitor to my garden. An Opossum which I (as husband calls them this) generally just call a Possum. Three quick facts about Possums

1. They are  the only marsupials in America. 

2. They eat a lot of ticks so they are quite good to have in the garden.

3. They rarely have rabies. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Friday/Some Crafty Bits

The weeks just seem to be rolling on by and I seem to keep plodding along with them. The colours have been lovely around here but I'm a little reluctant to see them go because I know what's coming next - grey and dull all around. I'm already trying to think up ways to keep busy and not think too much. I shouldn't have to worry about keeping busy - I have tons of crafts to do, lots to read and loads of photography techniques I could learn, but it's all about getting motivated. Once I start a project I (mostly) enjoy it. It's the getting started that I have trouble with. 

I did finally take a bag of books up to my old work friend at the local store. We used to go out to lunch every couple of months, but that hasn't happened for a long time! She took some time off at the beginning of the pandemic but has been working since. She says sometimes it's not nice working in the shop. She works customer service and has to listen to people complain about wearing masks, or something not being available or wearing their masks wrong. She says it has got worse. People that used to be friendly are really rude sometimes. I feel for her. If not for the people working in the shops the shortages would have been a lot worse! Please, whatever your feeling on the virus, be nice to those that work in the shops. They don't make the rules. Products not being available isn't their fault. Prices aren't their fault. 

Enough of that.

I have done a bit of dithering in the craft room.  I put together some Christmas decoupage toppers - which have yet to be made into cards. I think these are really cool.

I also got a couple of bases cut out - several for Christmas cards and one for a birthday card. These bases will be pop-up cards. 

And yes, another mini-album. I can't stop making these as I really like doing them. If I'm not feeling creative they are a good go-to just to feel as though something creative is being accomplished. 

I have been working on my cross stitch too. I'm in the last stitches of it. I can't wait for it to be done! 

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Chit Chat

It's so dark in the morning now that I am definitely not getting up as early. That doesn't mean I'm sleeping a lot more. My sleep seems to go in cycles where I seem to sleep all the time and nights where I keep waking up and don't seem to get much sleep at all. Last night was one of the latter nights. I must have laid wrong too as my back was really hurting me today. Grrr. 

I did manage to get up at a reasonable time and was out at first light taking a walk. It was still busy at my walking place. Where did all those people come from? I used to enjoy being one of the very few there. I would nod and say hello to a couple of regulars. Now there seems to be a lot more people. I met up with my walking friend and we walked for a while. There was a lot of dog poo on the path we had been taking so we took a different one. We saw quite a few birds that must have been stopping over on their way south. It's definitely getting colder now so they should be moving soon!

I ran a couple of errands after my walk and then came home, did my jobs and managed to do a little crafts. I pulled out some Christmas (yikes!) items and at least got started on a couple of base cards. My back was hurting too much to sit in my craft chair for long so I ended up in my comfy chair and pulled out the cross stitch that I've been procrastinating about. I should have (planned) to get it finished a while ago but never did. It should be finished within the next couple of days. I pulled out my planner again as I seem to get more done when I write down a list of things I want to do. There is something about seeing things written down that motivates me get them done. 

I was reading Jacky's Blog about motivation and she got me thinking about what helps motivate me and keeps me on track. Hence the pulling out my planner and writing some lists!  A little bit of an advert here - I love her blog. She has a great Motivational Monday post as well as other posts that really get me thinking. We are about the same age and I can really relate with her. I really need to write lists. I stopped in the shops today and came out without one of the things I really needed - a new hairbrush as I broke the one I usually use and I'm pretty sure I left the other at daughter's. I had to resort to using a bit from the clippers husband has (LOL) to brush my hair. 

Photo today - have to include one - another chipmunk photo. I really am going to miss these when they do finally stop coming to visit. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday, Monday

Ack. Back to Monday again. 

I have some crafty card creations to share today. I really do need to get going on Christmas (yikes) projects but I am enjoying Autumn and Halloween right now and seem to be stuck on them. 

These were all made using bits I had around. The first three were made with bits I 'won' in an auction when I went to see daughter the other year. I went to Woo-Woo Palooza, a fundraiser for Adopt a Husky Minnesota, and they had a scrapbook basket up for auction.  I think I'm going to send out a couple as a pick-me-up. It's always fun to receive something different in the post. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Book Buying Fail and Snow Already?

Well, (hanging my head in shame) I bought two books this week. It has been a long while since I bought any books - new or used - so I won't be too hard on myself! One is a new release by an author I enjoy reading and the other was from the dollar shop. I am going to get back to sorting more out and I do have several out ready to read next. I am almost at my goal for the year. I had planned on reading at least 100 books. I am at 93. 

Snow? Already? Not me. It was pretty frosty here in Michigan this morning, but no snow where we are yet. My daughter in Minnesota had her first snowfall this morning. Brrr. I am not ready for that. The wind is blowing here and I'm pretty sure it won't be long until all the lovely colourful leaves fall. I am not looking forward to it. Autumn is the last burst of colour here - nature in all its glory - and then we are on to the grey, dull days of winter. I would like the leaves to hang on for a little longer as there are still places I'd like to go to photograph.

This was taken on my walk this morning with my phone. It's definitely looking a lot like Autumn!

What are you up to for the weekend? I'm hoping to get out tomorrow and photograph somewhere nearby. The weather doesn't look too bad - there will be a frost again in the morning but it's supposed to be dry. Sunday doesn't look so good weather-wise. I'll also Skype Mum again tomorrow. Other than that I may spend the afternoon in my craft room. I am in the mood to do some Autumn paper creations. 

Thanks for reading and for commenting! I really do appreciate it. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

What a Stunning Sunrise!

Yesterday I decided to get up early-ish and head across the town to a lake where I can actually see the sunrise. There is just something about standing there in the quiet peacefulness just before dawn that takes my breath away. I wasn't the only one there. I was the only one who stayed for the before, the sun rising and the aftermath. A few people drifted in and out. Some barely stepped out of their cars to snap a photo before heading off. One couple - who were there when I arrived and spoke to me - said they were stopping by on their way to work. The woman said she hurried her husband out the door just so they could catch the sunrise. 

The colours were just stunning. This was taken with my phone, no editing, just straight out of the phone. These were the deepest of the colours - the sun rose with a variety of colours, everything from purple to red, to golden yellow. What a wonderful way to start the day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Away for the Weekend

We went away for a mini-weekend break. As some of you know all our camping trips I booked earlier in the year were cancelled due to the virus as the parks didn't reopen until the middle of June. We were supposed to go away to one park where I had booked a rental cabin in May. As this was cancelled I was given the choice to rebook with an extra night later in the season and this one I managed to do for last weekend. We went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to check out some of the Autumn colours. We usually try to do this each year and I'm glad this, at least, wasn't cancelled. I must admit I felt really safe at the campsite - you're away from other people (which is partly why we like to go lol). 

Here are a couple of phone photos from our trip.

This is Miner's Castle from the overlook. It was really pretty!

This is a rare photo of me lol. It was taken by hubby at the Cut River Bridge. Really beautiful colours. I don't think the trees get lie that where we are. There were so many different colour trees. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Trying to - Return to Normal

Well, the title is a little deceiving. I am trying to get back to the normal that is now lol (or groan). Anyway, I haven't done much sorting lately. Obviously last week with daughter here I just spent time enjoying her visit. Housework got delayed (catching up now) and sorting got put onto the back burner. The house is actually in pretty good shape as I had picked up things so the three huskies wouldn't be tempted! It's really nice to have things in such a good order. I shall give myself the rest of the week and get back to sorting out again. Apparently the library bookshop is accepting donations but by appointment only. You have to put your books in their boxes and take your own back home again. I have to call and see what the limit is on books as I have several boxes ready to go. I might have to do them in lots. 

Last week was lovely. I wish daughter was a little closer so we could see her more often. We had quite the laugh while she was here. I really enjoyed spending time with the huskies too. Poor Shasta is certainly beginning to show her age. She loves walking still but going up and down hills makes her joints ache (doesn't that apply to all of us as we age?) so we stuck mostly to the flats. I certainly wasn't complaining about that!

Photo of the day - Koda. Sleeping at the campground. They are pretty spoiled dogs, especially The Princess (as I like to call her). She does enjoy her homely comforts!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Quick Post - visitors

Ack - Fail Again - I haven't posted for over a week. 

All is well.

Daughter, her boyfriend (fiancĂ©) and their three huskies came to visit for the week. They came in their camper van and stayed at a local state park. We went away for a few days to another state park. I've really enjoyed having them around. Sad to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. 

I'll post more tomorrow.  Here's a photo from last Sunday when it was warm enough to go to Lake Michigan - the temperatures have since plunged to freezing (literally)