Saturday, December 31, 2022

Goodbye 2022....Hello 2023

Just popping in to say Thank You so much for all your support this past year. I really appreciate all who read and comment (I am behind on comments as per usual lol). I hope you all have a lovely, healthy New Year. 

Day 365 Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 

I can't believe that I made it until the end of the year!!! 

To finish the end of the year off, a walk along the beach. Don't be fooled by all the sand, underneath the sand there is ice!!

See you next year!

Friday, December 30, 2022


It was raining when I woke this morning. Instead of going for a walk, I got out early, went to the Post Office, stopped at a shop to pick up a couple of things and headed home. Once home it had stopped raining so I decided to go for a quick walk. It's been quite warm the last few days and I was really surprised this morning on my walk to see that all the snow from last week had gone! I was a little saddened and a little angry. Why couldn't last weekend have been like this and daughter could have come for Christmas? I could have handled the snow this weekend. Sigh. There was only a little ice on the path. I didn't walk for long as it started to rain again. 

I only took a couple of photos, including these phone photos. The nice part of the walk was that there was still ice on Asylum Lake but it was warmed by the air and there was some fog about. 

I came home, did a couple of chores and then spent the afternoon working on a photography/photoshop challenge. I had signed up for a lovely free challenge by Janey Lazenby She offers these free challenges usually around holidays. I decided to really give this one a go. I don't know a lot about photoshop but she makes it a lot easier. I am behind on lessons but hope to do some more tomorrow (I've finished Day two and I've done both the bonus sessions). I shall share my image when it is finished. 

Day 364 Things That Make Me Smile Phone Photos

Not sure I'll do this challenge again next year. It's been fun but will be nice to take a break. 

I got quite a laugh out of this. Paczki Day here in America is February 16th this year. A little bit early ha ha 

Bonus phone photo of the day. After losing Shasta this year daughter has decided to foster huskies for a while. She applied with a rescue organisation, had an interview and home visit and got approved. She already has a rescue husky in the works! She and husband will pick up their foster dog on Monday. Her name will be Sakari. So there will be a new husky in the house! Hopefully she will find her Forever Home Soon!

I saw this at Walmart and had to snap a photo although it looks nothing like Sakari. She is a white husky rather like Koda (one of their other huskies)

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Looking Forward

It's almost the end of another week and almost the end of another year. As the year draws to a close, I've been thinking about next year, the projects I want to do and things I'd like to accomplish. I didn't choose a word of the year for this year, and I wasn't going to choose one for next year either. Then, as I was lying in bed unable to sleep, I got to thinking about what I'd like to be able to do next year. All roads led back to Creativity. I have missed being creative. I haven't cross stitched or really done a lot of crafting and my photography has stalled a little. I want to bring joy back to the things I used to enjoy doing. So next year I am going to try to be more creative. It's not a lofty goal or world-changing, just something I'd like to try to weave through my life. I still haven't decided on specific projects, but it's a start. 

I don't make yearly resolutions. Personally, I find them too lofty and the first time I fall I give up as it seems like a failure. I am going to make monthly goals to try to get things done. For January it will be about continuing to sort through the craft room, clean out a couple of problem areas and restart the donation box. I am seriously considering sorting through the DVD collection. Now that there are streaming services, we rarely watch them anymore and they are, frankly, just gathering dust. January will also be about jumping back on the meal planning wagon. I have fell off it since early December and I miss it. When I have a basic meal plan, I know exactly where I am and don't think most of the day about what's for dinner and, more importantly, I go to the shops less and therefore spend less money. 

Do you have goals/aspirations for 2023? Do you make resolutions? Choose a word of the year? 

Day 363

Not the greatest photo, but it was so peaceful at Asylum Lake this morning. I am almost at the end of my year documenting Asylum Lake (nowhere near finished putting the project together) and almost at the end of the Photo-a-Day - Phone Photos Things That Make Me Smile. Can't believe I've almost completed it. See, I can stick to something lol

Wednesday, December 28, 2022


Because of the holiday I feel really off on my days! I had to remind myself that it was Wednesday. 

I went for my walk this morning. It was bright and sunny. I got out early. It's our last dose of sunshine for a few days so I wanted to make the most of it. I saw a lovely sunrise. It was chilly out and the paths were still covered with snow. Asylum lake is covered with ice and there is no sign of the beavers. They are frozen in for now. Yesterday someone saw some ice fishermen out on the lake. Rather brave (or silly) of them. It hasn't been cold for long enough. 

When I got back home son (who has a week off work) drove me to the lakeshore to see the ice once more before it starts to melt - at least for this time. We are due a 'warm' spell - the temperatures will be rising over the next few days for a predicted high on Tuesday of 57f/14c. Wow, can you believe it?! It won't last long however as next Wednesday the temperature will drop back down to a high of 41c/6c and then down from there. It's Michigan afterall! 

The sun was beautiful today as was the ice. Lots of smiling today. 

A rare silhouette selfie of me taken in the car window, a lovely sunrise reflection. 

Day 362 - Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile

Pancake Ice. It is really amazing. 

If you have Instagram check out my page My Instagram and check out my stories for a video of the ice. I'll try to post it here within the next couple days. It made me quite dizzy to watch!

I came home and had to pack up some Ebay Items. I took a little break over the holidays. I don't have a shop but now individual sellers can put in for 'time away'. Before you would have to end all the listings and then re-list when you came back. This is so much easier! I have sold a few items since I'm not away anymore. I shall start listing more next week. I also have to condense items as I have sold quite a few. 

Tomorrow will be a quick walk, some housework and a little tidying. I must admit that I am being a little lazy with son home. I hope to remedy some of that tomorrow!

Night to all x

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

After Christmas

Well, another one over. It's been tough this year (again) getting into the Christmas mood. I was sad that daughter couldn't make it, but glad she stayed safely home. I would have worried no end as they were driving here. Luckily, husband was able to drive down and get son on Christmas Day. The roads were pretty lousy, but husband is used to driving on bad roads. Son does drive but his car isn't the greatest in snow (long distances) so it was safer for husband to go get him and take him home after. 

It was rather a quiet affair. I got some lovely photos and videos sent to me from Sister's Christmas. Her youngest grandson started walking on Christmas Day! It was lovely to see. 

We exchanged presents, went to MIL's to eat and then came back home. I chatted with daughter a couple of times. I got lots of goodies - enough chocolate to last until Easter ha ha and plenty of alcohol. Not sure what it says about me when I end up with about 6 bottles of things lol. I received some lovely nature books that I hope to share photos from in future posts as well as other goodies. I am feeling very thankful for all that I received. 

Day 359 (Sunday)

One of my gifts. Really makes me smile. 

Yesterday, Boxing Day, the weather had cleared a bit so we decided to take a trip to the lakeshore and check out the ice. Wow. That's all I can. We stopped at South Haven first. The winds had been pretty wild over the weekend and it showed!

These are some photos I took with my camera

From there we drove down to St Joesph lighthouse. Oh my. The roof on the lighthouse is usually red. It was covered in ice. 

Would have loved to stay out there longer taking photos but it was so cold!

Day 360 (Monday)

Of course, it has to be an ice photo. I had to take it with my phone. 

Eye-level icicles. Wow. Just Wow

Today it was back to normal. A walk and a little tidying up. This is always the in-between week. 

Day 361 

It was cold out today on my walk and oh-so-snowy! We stuck to the main paths. Most of the big lake was frozen, but this stream is sort of the run-off and water flows through it so it mostly stays unfrozen all winter. Good for the animals in the woods. It is really beautiful at this time of year, the sun glowing golden first thing in the morning. Made me smile. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Happy Christmas!

It's still snowing. A little less blowy today. I am thinking - maybe - the worst of it is over. Our road hasn't been plowed at all but the main ones have a bit. It is too cold for salt to work so they are pretty slick. Husband cleared out the driveway and pavement in front of the house. He cleared the cars off and started them up. We did go out - briefly. He's a good driver in the snow. I wouldn't have driven on the roads, but he grew up here and started out driving on them. 

We weren't gone long. We came home. I finished up what wrapping I had to do. I made Sausage Rolls (just a few here on the plate lol). 

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my Big Project for the online camera club. I am way behind on my Year at Asylum Lake, but all the photos are taken. I am now organising them and then will write things up. I am giving myself until the end of January to finish it. 

I took a break and looked out the window late afternoon. It had been snowing quite a bit. There were seven deer in the garden! Seven!

I managed to take a few photos with my camera (not sorted) and a couple with my phone.  

The thing that made me smile today was opening the package I got from my exchange partner in my Facebook Ipswich group (we all are from Ipswich and live in the states). 

Day 358

While out I took a little video of the drive in the city.  Hope it works!

Still not sure what tomorrow will hold. Husband is hoping to go and get son from his home near the lakeshore. It really depends on how bad the weather looks. Sigh. 

I hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow. It's a tough day. I miss Mum like crazy. If you're missing someone, or spending the day alone, be kind to yourself and try to look for something that makes you smile. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Lazy, Snowy Friday

It's been a cold, windy, snowy day here in my corner of Southwest Michigan. We've stayed inside all day. There were cars out on the streets - a few - I saw some go up our hill. I think that, if not for the wind, it would have been a normal snowy day. People would have got out pretty much as they normally do around here in Winter. With the wind, however, I think visibility would have been pretty poor. When the wind blew I could barely see from my garden to the neighbours. The birds were out in droves, eating the seed as quickly as I could put it out. We had a flock of Starlings at one point that devoured most of the seed laying around. I suppose they have to eat too! Most of the birds were all fluffed up, trying to keep warm. A little like us with our bundles of layers lol. 

I didn't get a whole lot done. I messaged with sister, chatted with son and chatted with daughter. It was a relaxing day overall. I put off doing a few things, but it was nice to have the break. 

It's still snowing as I write this. I think it's supposed to continue overnight and most of tomorrow. The snow has been pretty light and fluffy and has been drifting with the wind. 

I had husband turn on the Christmas lights for most of the day trying to inspire the Christmas mood. Can't say it's really happening. I did enjoy looking at the ornaments and lights though. Cheered me up a little. 

Taken with my phone. Some of the handmade ornaments on our tree. Most of what is on there is handmade. 

Day 357

There is a lovely petrol/gas station that sells the most wonderful Cinnamon Rolls. Seems strange but they were really tasted. We put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and they are all warm and gooey. Yum!

Thursday, December 22, 2022


The snow has started, and the wind is picking up. Fingers crossed that we don't lose power. That would be the worst-case scenario. Both husband and son don't have to work tomorrow. Their jobs have been closed. I think that's the first time that has ever happened. It's the wind that will be the problem. That's what the prediction is. We are lucky that we don't have to go anywhere. Other son is working from home. Their offices have been closed. 

The warnings keep piling up. It's rather funny if it wasn't serious. We are under a Blizzard Warning until Saturday evening, a Storm Warning until Saturday afternoon, a Heavy Freezing Spray Warning, until Saturday evening and a Gale Warning until Friday morning. As we live close to the lakeshore (Lake Michigan) once the regular snow stops, the lake effect snow will kick in. 

The beavers were out again this morning and the birds in my garden were going crazy. Even the rabbits were out this afternoon before the snow - four of them at once - in the garden. There was even a chipmunk out. It seems as though everyone was getting ready for the storms. Apparently, the shops were crazy. People were not just stocking up for Christmas but for the storm too. I stayed away from anywhere today. I went for my walk this evening, then came back to the house, did my chores, wrapped some more and settled in for the evening. I think I am about done. 

Tomorrow, as everyone is home, I am (hopefully) going to take most of the day to relax. I have kept out my long undies and have handwarmers at the ready in case the power does go out. The temperatures are dropping. It will only be 9F/ -12C and that's not factoring in the wind chill. Too cold to be without heat. Brrr. 

Are you all ready for the holidays? 

Day 356

Smiling because I am lucky enough to be in a nice warm house during the storm with lovely hot drinks. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Ugh Winter Weather Blues

Happy Solstice! I am excited that the days will start getting longer. It's a long time until Spring - we still have the worst of the winter to go - but just the thought of longer days comforts me. 

Sad to say that daughter and son-in-law will not be coming to visit for Christmas. They have a Winter Storm Warning, and we have a Blizzard Warning. There are 600 miles in between us. It's the sensible thing to do but will miss having them here for Christmas. We're not sure what we will do yet for Christmas. Son lives right by the lakeshore and might not be able to get here and the other person MIL was having lives about an hour away to the north. We are hoping that the snow and wind won't be as bad as they are saying. Daughter has had snow today, ours starts late afternoon tomorrow. We shall see from there. 

Went for my walk this morning. I saw two beavers. I wonder whether they know that the bad weather is coming. I saw them a lot before the last bout of snow and they were around a lot today. Beautiful to see. One found a branch, went to some shallow water and sat there and munched. Was beautiful to watch. 

Sometimes they are a little shy and go under water as soon as they see someone watching. This one didn't seem to mind at all. You can see that he looked right at me as I was taking photos. 

After that I braved the shops. Not a good idea. Lol. Not only is it really close to Christmas, but the local news is going on and on about the snow and that makes people panic. I had to get things for Christmas - in case we do actually have it. Everyday food we have enough and always keep some extra things on hand. 

What's the plan for tomorrow? I shall go for a walk in the morning as things aren't supposed to start until the afternoon. Then I am coming home, cleaning house and finishing up getting things ready for Christmas. If there is a lot of snow on Friday I plan on reading, stitching or just watching tv - that's IF I have everything done. It's a good incentive to get things done!

Day 354 (Tuesday)

There was actually a lovely sunrise yesterday. It's that low winter sun that gives off a lot of yellow. 

Day 355 (Wednesday)

The calm before the storm. It's been cold enough that the lake is beginning to freeze. The beavers have been keeping holes open to pop up in. It's always funny to hear the ice breaking and see them pop through with ice on top of their heads. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Back Again

We're back in Michigan. 

I don't remember if I had said this on the blog, but I had thought about staying the rest of the week with daughter and travelling back with them this weekend as they daughter and son-in-law are supposed to be coming for Christmas. I say supposed to be as there is (apparently) a BIG storm headed our way this weekend (just in time for Christmas, of course) so now we are just waiting to see whether they will be able to make it or not. So, I thought it was probably better if I came back with husband. I brought daughter's gifts to others with me just in case they can't make it. I suppose we shall have to wait and see what Mother Nature decides. 

Anyway, we had a lovely weekend away. The drive there was long and a bit snowy, but we made it without incident in good time. It was really cold though. -2f/-19c one morning. Brrr.... it's supposed to get colder still this week. You really can't be outside long before things just get too cold. I was bundled up but my face got really cold. I think chapped lips must be a constant thing in Minnesota!

It really was beautiful out though. It had snowed the day before and, because of the cold, all the snow was still sticking to the trees. It really did look magical. I wish I could have taken more time to explore, but we were there to spend time with daughter. We had a lovely day on Saturday with her and her husband's family (they did their Christmas that day). Lots of lovely company and food. On Sunday daughter and I went shopping for a bit and a really quick walk (she stayed in the car lol). In the evening we all went to some Christmas Lights in the park but it was so cold we all walked round really, really quickly! I don't think we've been that speedy before!

I took them with my phone even then it was cold to get my fingers out! 

After we got back, daughter and I had some wine and did some legos together. It's the thing we usually try to do when we get together. It was really fun - and my smile for the day even though there were lots of smiles that day

Day 352 (Sunday) 

It was really quite complicated to do! 

I missed posting Day 349 (Thursday) 

Making cookies to take to daughter's. She loves these ones and had requested I make them for the party on Saturday. These are a few of them. 

Day 351 (Saturday)

It was a great day with the party and I honestly didn't take a lot of photos. I just wanted to enjoy the moments together. 

I think that, by the end of the day, we all felt happily content rather like Sasha, one of daughter and son-in-law's huskies. 

And yesterday, Day 353 - wow we are really that close to the end of the year!

A snowy snowscape as we drove by. Thankful the roads were clear and we had a safe drive home. It really is such a long way - over 600 miles! The snow was so pretty on the trees as it was so cold it was still there days later. 

I have blogs to catch up on. I am writing this early in the morning, before my walk, so I don't forget or get too tired! 

If you've read this far, thank you! I do appreciate all who read and take time to comment. I will be replying to those comments today. I'm really not sure the best way to do that, reply to the actual comment or post a comment in the blog (which is easier to read? - that's me wondering)

Anyway, enough rambling. To end a photo of daughter and me. I hate having my photo taken, but I've come to realise how important that can be so we try to get at least one together each visit. This was a really quick one as it was so cold! 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Quick Check-in

Made it to Minnesota.  It was a snowy drive but luckily the roads weren't too bad.  There was actually some peeks of sunshine along the way.  In fact I saw more sunshine on the drive than I've seen all week.  Spending a relaxing night with daughter.  I did bring my computer with me so I'll try to dig it out tomorrow. It's just been a tiring day as we started out at 5am this morning. 

Snow out of daughter's back window

Lovely welcome from the two dogs. A little sad not to have Shasta greeting us. I miss her.

This is Koda

Day 350

These Legos made me smile.  They are made of chocolate. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Not a Too Bad Day

It was a fairly productive day. Got all my chores done. Did not get all the shopping done. I do have to go out tomorrow. We are leaving to visit daughter for a long weekend on Friday and I want to get us some snacks as it is a long drive from here to Minnesota. I also want to fill the car up. The place I shop has cheaper petrol/gas. So, two birds, one stone lol. The shop I went to today did not have everything on my list and by the time I was finished there I had had enough of people and shops and shopping. Lol. 

I got everything wrapped that I have so far. Got the space cleared off for the tree. Husband got the tree up. 

Been a bit teary lately. Think it's the holidays, the happiness and the togetherness. I always feel a little down at this time of year as I always missed family especially at Christmas and Christmas in England is so different from here. Since Mum died though I feel it worse. It seems everyone is supposed to be happy. I know it's not like that for everyone. Just having a few tears. Mum seems to be on my mind a lot lately. 

Now that the tree is out I want to sort through (been putting it off) some of the things I brought back with me this year of Mum's. There are some ornaments in there and I'd like to put one on the tree. I have already put up one of Jane's. I'll take a proper photo tomorrow. It's a little bird feeder. 

Day 348

Husband surprised me with an ornament to put on the tree. Made me smile. I had looked at it while I was out shopping with him (not a usual thing - we rarely go shopping together) but he remembered. I didn't buy it at the time because I didn't want to pay the price for it. When he went back it was half off lol. 

Can you see a theme here? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Today - Did the List Work?

So, did the list work? Did I manage to get it all done? 

I am pleased to say that I got almost everything done today that I wanted to get done. I did panic a bit in the middle. After my walk, stopping at some shops (on the list and shopping - mostly - from the list), stopping at MIL's I didn't make it back to my house until noon. I was a little anxious at that point. I took a breath, got something to eat (as I hadn't eaten breakfast - a mistake) and took a few minutes to gather myself, I tackled THE LIST. I did get a little off track as daughter called. It was just as I was about to take a little break (my back was aching from being hunched over wrapping). She's more important than chores, so I didn't feel too guilty about chatting. 

After our phone call I got right back into the groove again. It actually feels good to have accomplished what I did. As I was wrapping and daydreaming - I hate wrapping - I made another list of things I still had to pick up and a list of what needs to get done tomorrow. So, fingers crossed, I'll be able to have another productive day tomorrow. 

Day 347 

Not the greatest photo. I didn't take it until the light was fading - which was really early as it was another grey day here in Michigan

My new soap dispenser. I couldn't resist. I bought it a while ago and, well, to be honest, I forgot about it. Only when I was sorting through the things I'd got for Christmas did I find it and it made me smile (which was the reason I'd bought it in the first place!) Now that I'm thinking about it, I might even have photographed it before lol.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Procrastinators Unite

Ack. I am so bad at sticking to anything - especially these days! I got some stuff done, but I did a lot more procrastinating than I did being productive. I am finding it hard to focus on anything. I can't even stick to reading one book! I've started so many over the past couple of months and haven't been able to finish more than a couple. That's rare for me. I shall chalk this up as a not-so-great day and move onto the next. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Instead of writing that I should start a list, I actually stopped writing this and took time to write the list. Well, I wrote two lists. One of things I have to get done tomorrow and the other is the start of a shopping list - writing down things as I remember that we need them. 

One good thing I did get done today that I have been putting off - sorting through the pile in front of the table to one side of the chair I like to sit in. I put it all away off the floor so it is not in the way. Tomorrow, part of what I want to get done, is to tackle the other side of my chair. That side is a usual problem area for me. 

It was another grey day here which I am certain didn't help my mood. I keep hoping for a bit of sunshine, but it's not looking that good. Sunshine helps. I think. 

A reason to smile today (Day 346)

The beavers have been busy over the weekend! I didn't manage to see them today, but their lodge is getting even bigger as they get it ready for the winter

Sunday, December 11, 2022


It was such a grey and dreary day here today. There was quite a thick, drizzly fog around when we woke up and got moving. It didn't clear up until almost mid-afternoon. Even then it was just grey. Horrible. 

We did go out and have a bit of a walk today. I didn't take many photos. I took a few with my phone. I also saw a couple of birds around and took photos with my big camera. It is duck hunting season here in Michigan and - sensibly - most of the birds were keeping out of the way. There were several boats out on Lake Michigan and every now and then we could hear shotguns going off. Husband says there are certain rules the duck hunters have to follow - something about the ducks being airborne and not shooting them while they are swimming. Poor ducks. 

As I said, rather grey, dreary and drizzly, so I looked for some other things to photograph. While walking along the pier (rather a concrete slab walkway lol) I caught sight of a reflection in the water pooled along there. I found it rather beautiful. 

Down below was one of my favourites - Day 345

This poor lighthouse could really use a coat of paint. The walkway has seen better days too. It really does get battered in the winter. The waves and ice reach halfway up the lighthouse. 

 When I came home I boxed up and printed off labels for the items I've sold over the weekend. I plan on taking them to the post office to drop off tomorrow.   This evening I've just been relaxing, watching some telly and playing around on the computer. 

Need to get moving tomorrow!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Saturday Happenings

I didn't do too bad on the sleep last night. There were a couple of moments when I was awake. I had turned off the alarm so let myself doze for a while longer. Husband slept down in basement. Brrr... it's cold down there, but he didn't mind. He said he was going down there again tonight and then we'll see what happens tomorrow night lol. 

It was dull this morning. Just a bland, white sky. Really rather plain. We did go out for a drive to the lakeshore and a little walk along the beach. There weren't a lot of people around except for a few fishermen out on the pier. We talked to them briefly and they said that they hadn't had a lot of luck. 

Day 344

Still a bit of snow on the pier. I loved the lines made by the fisherman's little wagon thingy. 

It was so very peaceful, though cold. I wish there had been sunshine, but I suppose I will have to get used to the cloudy skies. We don't get a lot of sun in the winter. It does make you appreciate it more when it does come!

From the beach. Had to be careful where I walked as a ledge has suddenly appeared - due to the winds that came the other week. 

When we got home I did make sure I cleared up a pile of boxes that had gathered (to be sorted) by the front door. We usually use the back door. Not sure why lol. I found the gift I had lost (for the game at daughter's). So I wrapped the remaining ones of those up. 

Not a great productive day, but I did get some things checked off the list. I think I spent too much time taking photos and doing Ebay listings. Didn't get that many things up online, but it takes a while. I think I might give it a break tomorrow and concentrate on getting other things done - at least after our Sunday Adventure.