Thursday, January 28, 2021

Another week almost over. It's been a strange one this week. I've been reading more than usual. I think it's a form of escapism. It's nice to pick up a book and be able to not think of real life for a while. I must admit that I haven't been reading any really serious, meaningful books, but they have been enjoyable all the same. I did sign up for another Goodreads challenge this year. 100 books. I managed to do it last year but I think some of that was due to the pandemic. We'll see how well I do this year.

I didn't go for a walk on Tuesday when it was snowy. The hill outside my house didn't look so good so I decided to stay home. It was a good choice. I did get some things done in the craft room. I have a lot to share - projects completed over the past few weeks - but I haven't go around to taking photos of them yet. I could take phone photos, but I got a lightbox for Christmas and would like to try it out and see how the photos turn out. Of course that's something I haven't got around to yet! I did start one of the new cross stitch projects I had picked out. I haven't got a lot done but starting is the hardest part!

I thought this little cartoon was funny.  I have been taken a lot of bird photos lately so it made me laugh. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Monday Update

 Thank you all for your support regarding my Mum. I really appreciate it. She is doing okay. She's stable. Still on Oxygen but she has been eating and both of my sisters have talked to her. I am certainly hoping for the best. 

It's been a rough week. I go between trying to keep busy trying not to think too much and sitting here doing nothing and feeling like crying all the time. I feel as though I've been on an emotional roller coaster. I just feel so helpless and worried. 

I am going to try to do better this week. Before this happened I had a cross stitch picked out to do Mum. I am going to get started on it so I can send it to her. Hopefully it would cheer her up when she gets home. I also have the colours picked out for another cross stitch. Even if I don't get a lot else done I shall sit and cross stitch. 

We are supposed to have a snow storm tonight. A part of me is hoping the weather people will be wrong (again) and nothing will come so that I will be able to go for a walk. Another part of me would actually like to have a snow day so I didn't go out at all. I don't like driving in lots of snow. I suppose I shall have to wait until morning and see how much we actually get. The advisory says between 3 ad 6 inches. 

I have some blogs to catch up on so I'm off to do that while I am waiting for dinner to cook. 

Photo today -  the other day I looked out the window to see a mother and her youngster in the garden. They really seemed to appreciate the seed the birds had left behind!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Thank You - and update

 Thank you so much for your comments on my news. Thank you also for the thoughts and prayers. My sister rang me this morning. Mum's other Covid test came back positive and they have moved her to the Covid ward. She is classed as stable - sister says no worse, but no better either. Sister did manage to speak to Mum and said that she sounded okay. Mum was worried about how my sister was feeling! It is just like her. Sister told her just to concentrate on getting better, that we need her around and we are all thinking of her and sending our love. The next assessment will be in the morning.

Sister said that she was feeling poorly though on the mend. Brother-in-law has no symptoms at all (but is positive) so he has been taking care of my sister. Because my other sister and her husband went to check on Mum on Monday they are now self-isolating. 

It's tough being so far away. I know that I wouldn't be able to do anything if I was there as there are no visits. I just feel so helpless.  Sister said Mum did know where she was but sister wasn't sure if they had told her what was wrong with her. I know Mum is really stubborn. She survived cancer 5 years back so we are all hoping she can beat this. Please keep her in your thoughts. 

I must admit that I did not get much done today. I did go for a walk to clear my head. I am going to make a list so that I can get things done tomorrow and take my mind off things. 

A photo I took of Mum the last time we were together. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


I don't want to go days without writing but not sure how it will be over the next few days. My heart is heavy tonight. It's not been a good day. My sister rang me early this morning to tell me that Mum has been taken to hospital. Sister and BIL have both tested positive for Covid and the first test they gave Mum has come up positive. I'm not sure what to do or what will happen. She is on oxygen and they are treating her with antibiotics for a chest infection (sister didn't say whether it was pneumonia but that seems likely with the Covid test result). Please keep her in your thoughts. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Adventure

 We made it up to the Wastewater Plant. It did snow overnight and it was snowing as we drove up, but the trucks had been out with the salt and the roads weren't too bad. We found our way there quite easily and picked up our passes in a box near the office. We have a pass for two years! It didn't cost anything. You just have to have your details on file. 

We weren't quite sure what we were doing, but we drove a little way, went around a corner and up on one of the poles sat a Snowy Owl! I was so excited! I got some good shots of him as he sat there. He did fly away into the middle of the frozen over water. We ended up seeing two snowy owls! Really exciting. 

It was quite smelly at one point. Hubby and I had a good laugh. After all this is a water treatment plant! There was also a rubbish dump at the far end that had quite the smell! We saw a juvenile bald eagle there as crows hounded him. As we were going around another frozen lake husband commented about a dog being out on the ice. We looked closer. It wasn't a dog - it was a coyote! My first time seeing one of those as well. No picture of it as it was too far away. As soon as it noticed us it started in the other direction.  We also saw a Kestrel and several different ducks. It was a fun morning out! There weren't too many people around and mostly we drove around so no getting close to anyone. 

Snowy Owl on a snowy day. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Again

 This week seemed to pass quite quickly! It's the weekend again! Yah! Not so good for my son who came home and told me that he has to work all weekend again. He worked nine hours each day this week and now this on top. It's quite physical work and being outside (sometimes) in the cold all day can be quite tiring. I think he would be okay working the Saturday but with Sunday as well he won't have a day off until (maybe) next weekend. He did the 20+ days in a row before Christmas and was hoping it was done. The only good news they did have this week is that because both husband and son do work in the Pfizer building they are taking sign ups for the vaccine. I suppose they want as many workers being protected as possible. 

I had quite a nice walk today. It had snowed/rained a little overnight and we thought that the paths may be even icier, but they weren't any worse than the day before. We both wear the ice thingys on the bottom of our boots so we didn't slip and slide. We did get to see one of the beavers again! Really exciting. We had just passed a woman who asked up what we had seen (nothing at that point) and said how much she enjoyed looking at my photos on the lake's Facebook page. Just after we passed her by we looked out to the lake and saw one of the beavers swimming near its lodge! We thought it was swimming to try to stop the ice from building up close to the lodges. A lot of the lake is iced over but by the lodges it has open water. 

It was quite the treat! 

I did do some clean-up in the craft room today. I have come to the reluctant conclusion that I shall have to do an honest sort out and get rid of a few things that I won't use. Sigh. I have lots of lovely things, but really I need to downsize as I am running out of space to put them. I shall have to work on this. It doesn't help that I always seem to see lovely things that I could make something with. The other day when I was in the dollar store I came across this lovely sticker set. It's so unusual to see anything with Mum on it that I just had to buy it. I know I shall use this. I can make Mum's mother day card with it. 

I'm not sure what we're up to tomorrow. Sunday - weather permitting - we are going up to a wastewater treatment plant. Yes, I know it sounds weird but there are birding paths there and supposedly lots of birds. You have to apply for a permit which I did the other day and it is ready to be picked up. I am SO excited to go!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Another Day

 The week seems to be plodding along quite quickly. It's Friday tomorrow. I feel somewhat on track but do need to push myself on the lists a little. I feel as though I'm letting myself off a little easy with the things I'd like to get accomplished each day. The meal planning is working wonderfully. I like having the things I'm going to make written down but with the flexibility of which day will be which meal. There are some meals that require more meal prep and cooking time and some that are fairly quick. That gives me the option of having days where I don't have to do a lot of prep work. It's a lot better than ordering take out (and less expensive). 

I haven't got as much done in the craft room as I had wanted to.  Obviously something I need to work on. I finished another book - a little disappointing but at least that's one less book that will be in the house!

Yesterday when I looked outside I got quite the shock as I saw one of my chipmunks! He is supposed to be tucked up safely in his burrow, but we've been having a mild winter (at least for us!) and the ice/snow that was covering his hole has melted. I think he must have popped out to see whether it was spring! He seemed fine. He came and got the peanuts I left out for him, running from his hole to the peanut and back again. I think he's just a little confused! He'll probably be ducking down again as we are due to get some snow this weekend. It was nice to see him for a while. Chipmunks make me smile!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

I was glad when I woke up this morning that the freezing rain that had been forecast actually skipped us and was further east in the state. I had arranged to meet my walking friend at another local spot as the place we had been walking had got so icy and we hadn't seen a lot of wildlife. The place we agreed on has open ponds at this time of year so we knew it was more likely we would see something. It was a LOT colder where we met as it is wide open and isn't sheltered at all. In the summer it is really hot and in winter the wind just blows across there. Brrr... I had bundled up with long undies and handwarmers and I was very glad!

When I got home I got the things done on my list. It does keep me on track and focused though I know I can do a lot better. Mostly there are little things on there that I always mean to get done, end up getting distracted and forget about them.  It helps to see the things written down and checked off when I complete them. I didn't get as much crafty stuff done as I wanted - though it wasn't on my list. I still have a lot of sorting to do in my craft room. I might write down one crafty organising thing I should get done each day on my to-do list. I suppose if I tackled it in small bits I might actually get it done!

Today's photo - some Common Goldeneye ducks I saw today. They were so funny to watch. They must have been having a conversation of sorts as the two males would do some funny movements and tilt their heads back completely. Oh just looked it up as I wrote this and it is a mating ritual of some kind. They must have been trying to attract the females they were with! Very interesting! These are winter visitors to our area. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

What's the Good of a List?

 Especially if you forget to take it with you to the shops!!!! I think I'm loosing my mind. I had this clear image in my head of me taking the shopping list from my notebook, folding it up and putting it inside my purse (wallet) so I could look at it when I got to the shops. I went for my walk and stopped at the shops afterward. Could I find the list? Nope. Could I remember everything on the list? Nope. When I got home and looked for the list where did I find it? The page was still inside the notebook. I hadn't even pulled it out!!! Grrrr.... How frustrating! I missed a couple of items I needed for my menu for the week so I shall have to go out again and get them. Hopefully this time I'll remember the list!

This cartoon made me laugh today so I thought I'd share. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sunday Adventure

 It was quite a fun day today. It was chilly and mostly cloudy but we got out and had a good time. It was a good bird day. We saw several different kinds of duck at Grand Haven State Park and had a little walk along the beach. We then meandered back down the lakeshore and stopped at Holland State Park where we saw more different ducks and a juvenile Bald Eagle who sat in a tree near the channel. A couple passing by said it had been a regular visitor for a few days - a nice treat for us though as we don't usually see them down where we live. While in Holland we decided to stop at Windmill Island Gardens. This is where they have the tulip festival in May. We've never been but we were close so we thought we'd at least see what the place looked like. There is a windmill there that was brought over from Holland. This area of Michigan is quite well known for its Dutch population. Hence the windmill, I suppose. Obviously at this time of year none of the buildings were open but you could walk around the grounds. We got to see the Windmill up close. Also as we walked past the river we saw a Kingfisher. 

As we made our way back home driving along some back roads husband saw something in a tree and safely pulled over to the side of the road (there was nobody behind us). We looked up in the tree and there sat a Kestrel! It's the first time I've seen one in the wild. It was very pretty. When we got home and I was having a hot flush I decided to sit outside for a few minutes and got to see a hawk land in the tree close to me. 

So - as you can see - quite a bird day! I haven't been seeing a lot of wildlife on my daily walk at all so I was really pleased. 

I've made a list for tomorrow and a meal plan (and what I need to pick up from the shops) so I am on track to begin the week. How was your weekend? I know there is a pretty strict lockdown in the UK. Mum is a little more resigned to it this time I think. It is winter so she usually spends more time inside, but still it isn't easy. 

Photo of the day - yesterday's sunrise. So happy to see one! We haven't had a lot of sunshine lately. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021


 We took a drive this morning to drop the things over at my son's place. We dropped the things off in his car and put a blanket over there (luckily husband has a key to the car). Son let me know later that he was happy to get everything and liked the gifts that finally arrived. Husband and I went down to the beach and took a little walk along. It was actually sunny! What a treat that was. It was quite cold, but just having the sun out made me feel a little better. 

I didn't do much in the way of jobs today but I did get some photos organised and backed up. I like to have my photos backed up in two places so I loaded some onto my external hard drive and reloaded them onto my Amazon cloud. It seems to take a long time, but I now have more space on the computer. 

Tomorrow is not supposed to be sunny but we shall be off on a Sunday Adventure. I'm not sure where we are going. I just fancy getting out and taking some photos. 

Speaking of photos, I took this one last week. I call it 'Only in Michigan'. Whenever we go out in the winter - despite it being below freezing - we almost always see someone dressed in shorts. I almost laughed out loud when I see this guy but I'm just not that rude so I just smiled to myself. 

Hope everyone has a nice, relaxing weekend. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

A Little Happy

 It's been quite a week. I must admit that, as far as getting things done, it hasn't been a great week in way of accomplishments. I have been getting my usual things done and have been (mostly) making lists. I liked having the meal plan done. It helped me cut down on times going to the shops and there was no more trying to work out what to cook. My plan is to work on things in the freezer and make another meal plan for next week. I did have an epic fail with one of the recipes but oh well - it was due to my stupid mistake and not an error in the recipe. It's been a while since I had a fail that bad. Luckily I was able to pull something else out of the freezer and do that instead. 

Today I got up into the craft room and created something that made me smile. I had seen a Youtube video making a tiny little album. It was really easy to make but I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. After this week I decided to fill it with some nice little quotes. It gave me joy to make it and read the quotes - something a little uplifting. 

We will be going to the beach tomorrow - son lives close to one. We need to take him a couple of presents that arrived late. He was going to come up this weekend but he was close to someone who was diagnosed with Covid so is staying home instead. Luckily he is still working from home so he shall be able to continue to do that. His 'quarantine' is almost up and he's feeling fine - thankfully.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Chatted with Mum today. I was so pleased to hear that her calendar and mini-album of daughter's engagement photos arrived today. I was worried that it had got lost. I had sent it mid-December via Priority mail (which isn't cheap!). The cards I posted two days before arrived within a week. Mum didn't get the calendar until today! The contents were not that expensive monetarily but I spent a lot of time and put lots of love into them and it would have been a shame if they had got lost. She said receiving the items really made her day so I am glad she finally got them.

I went for quite a long walk with my walking friend today. It was okay outside - a little above freezing but walking along we ended up getting quite warm. I didn't get many good photos but we did see two hawk, deer, muskrat, ducks, geese, lots of little birds that have seemed to be hiding the past few days and - my favourite - the Kingfisher. I wish it was a little more colourful but I love these little birds. Not the greatest photo but it was far away

It was surprising to see it still around as most of the lake is frozen. There was a wide bit at the end that was still open and that was where it was. I suppose that once the lake freezes completely it will fly away until Spring or find somewhere with open water. 

Tomorrow I am hoping to get a haircut. It was postponed from last week and - to be honest - I could probably use one!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021


 It's one of those days when I can't seem to get warm. The temperature is hovering a little tiny bit above freezing all day and that's the temperature I struggle with. It is going back down tomorrow and will hover (daytime high) around freezing. I have decided to turn the little heater on to help try to warm me up. I haven't just been sitting still all day but it doesn't seem to matter how much I'm moving around! 

I walked this morning. It was dull, gray and icy. We didn't see a lot of anything except some robins. The lake is lightly freezer except for a track the beavers must be making from their lodge. My walking friend and I walked around for a little while and got in nice walk. I had no errands to run today so went straight home. 

I did some crafting. I also began tidying up a bit in the craft room. I know that I got some things ready for projects, but when the holidays came I tucked them away. So now I have to find up the bits I bought that were supposed to work together so I can work on the projects. It might be messier before it starts to get better. Hopefully once things are tidied up I shall be able to find the things I want a little easier. This is part of my year long goal. I had been working on the craft room and then the holidays came and it all went...well, I didn't get it done. There seems to be a lot around the house that is that way.

I am thinking of where to head next regarding photography. I've thought a little about opening an Etsy shop but that would require some research. I had - you might remember - thought about creating some cards using photos. I liked that idea and did get some done and then - you've guessed it - I got distracted. That seems to be the story of my life!

Photo today - some prints I ordered when the print place had a good deal. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Back to Normal

 A normal week finally. Son is back at work and so is husband. I went out for my walk and then set about getting things done off the list I had written. I was actually quite pleased as I got everything done. It certainly does help seeing things written down. Still early days yet, but it's just a matter of keeping writing down the list each day. I am keeping a small notebook on the table by my chair so I can write things down when they come to mind. 

The walk was icy today. I put on my Yaktrax before I left the house. They certainly help from keeping falling on the ice. My walking friend wore hers today too. The trails were quite icy as they are busier now. 

I was excited to day to see some of my photos featured in an article about the beavers at my local walk.  How exciting is that! Quite silly of me really but I was chuffed the writer liked my photos. Not a paid thing, but credit was given to me.

Beaver Article & Photos

Photo today - someone built a snowman. Sometimes the smallest things can make you smile. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021


 After the ice yesterday came some more snow. This morning everywhere looked like a winter wonderland. We went out early for a walk so we could get out while the snow was still fresh. There wasn't a deep amount of it, but what fell was what snow that stuck to the trees and bushes coating everything with a lovely covering of white. I wore my ankle brace and it seemed to help my foot so I kept it on all day and I haven't had the usual bad stiffness and pain that I've been experiencing. I'm hoping this will really help. 

I Skyped with Mum. We chatted a little about days gone by. I love hearing her stories of growing up. We chatted about her paper round she used to do and how her Mum had a job that her Dad didn't know about! Mum said her mum used to go off early to the job (after her dad had gone to work) and would be home to make his meal at dinner time (lunch) as he came home from work for dinner. It's so interesting how things have changed!

I checked a couple of things off the list I made for things I wanted to get done this weekend so not all bad. We're supposed to get a little more snow tonight but not a lot. I'm hoping for a longer day out tomorrow so hopefully the roads won't be too bad. 

Photo today - a picture from our snowy walk. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 - Create - My Word

 Happy New Year!

It was a happy, yet slightly tearful chat with Mum as we saw in the new year together. We are both hopeful that I will be able to go visit this year. She was glad she stayed up when the firework and light display came on. I didn't stay up for the US midnight ball drop. To be honest I just couldn't be bothered. Hubby had already gone to bed as he had been up since 4.30am for work and son was downstairs playing video games. I watched some of the New Year's Eve thing on the telly but it wasn't really that interesting so I went to be. 

This morning we managed to get out before the freezing rain started. We took a really cold walk along the beach. By the time we made it back into town the freezing rain had started. I spent my afternoon tidying and doing some crafting. 

I have chosen a word of the year this year. Create. I think I've picked this word before, but it really sums up what I want to accomplish this year. I am not doing a bunch of resolutions as once broken or a slip up occurs I tend to give in and give up. Instead I think that goals will help me plod along and, if I do slip up, I can get right back on the wagon and try again. 

Create :-

* A decluttered, tidy home. As we are spending more time at home I find myself wanting to get rid of things that don't make me happy. I am not purging everything and it won't be in huge chunks, but more a little at a time, manageable goals.

* Lists to help me with time management and to keep on track with goals. I have slipped on doing this, but I find they do really help. I want to get my time management under control this year as I find myself becoming distracted and not getting things done around the house that I want, instead I spend time on things that bring me joy. There's an imbalance here that does not make me happy. 

* Meal Plans. Slipped on this. I like meal plans, at least weekly plans that give me the option to switch things around. I find this helps with the food budget and it helps me not stress out about what's for dinner. I also need to plan more meals for me as I tend to just cook for the guys (they are meat-eaters) and I end up not eating very healthily. 

* Budget. I must admit this is not a strength of mine. There are places where we could save money. I know this. It's not about giving up everything, just being more aware of how I am spending money. 

* Crafts. I really enjoy doing all manner of crafting. Sometimes that means that things don't get used or I buy things for a project, put them aside and by the time I get around to them I've forgotten what the project was!  Last year I was pleased to work on some cross stitch projects that had been sitting around for a long time. I want to continue doing this. This crosses with time management as I tend to be watching birds or doing photography and not as many crafts. 

* Photos. This has really kept me going this past year. I find it really stress relieving. I find myself  losing time as I am walking talking photos or watching birds and taking photos. There are so many goals that I want to accomplish in my photography life this year that it will be a separate post once I've managed to get all my thoughts together. 

Seems a little bit garbled and I'm sure I've missed something, but I wanted to get some thoughts down. I think they all lead back to the Create Word though.