Sunday, February 27, 2022

Bits and Bobs and Things That Make Me Smile!

Thanks for all the good wishes. There have been a few queasy moments over the past couple of days, but nothing like Friday and they pass fairly quickly if I don't overdo things.  Oldest son said he had a few queasy moments this morning too. I don't think I said in my previous post, but he woke up feeling sick on Wednesday night, but was okay on Thursday for work. Maybe it's something we caught? Neither one of us is having any other symptoms. 

We went to visit middle son yesterday - me, husband and oldest son. There was an ice festival in the town where he lives. It had previously been postponed due to bad weather. That made me laugh. An ice fest postponed because of ice/snow lol. It was fun. We got something to eat at a locally run place and looked around the festival. I took a few photos with my phone. 

It was really fun to watch. It's quite physical work sculpting the ice. They use chainsaws and such. It was cold out, but they were all bundled up well and sweating by the time they finished carving!

We dropped son off back to his apartment and then ventured up the shoreline to take in a sunrise at the lighthouse. It's been on my winter bucket list and sunset is still early enough that nobody has to stay up too late for it (takes about another 40 mins to get home).  Was really beautiful. Absolutely freezing, but lovely to see. 

I have some catching up to do with my Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile


Before I got sick on Friday I was watching the sunrise through the trees. There isn't much of a view from my back garden, but I did get to see some colour. It was about the only thing that made me smile on Friday lol. 

57/365 (Saturday)

Sunset on Saturday night. Not the greatest photo but it made me smile because oldest son was with me and actually walked out on the pier with me! It was extremely cold. I told him he could go back to the car where (sensible) husband was watching, but he insisted that he didn't want me alone on the pier. Not that I was alone for long - there was suddenly an influx of people. But it was nice. 


Today. Another cold, but lovely sunny day. I actually didn't take a lot of phone photos today. I was trying to capture the last of the ice with my big camera and I was trying not to take my glove off any more than I had to! I have gloves that are supposed to be able to work the phone, but more often than not they don't lol.  The waves were really pounding the lighthouse house at the end. It was early when we went and peaceful. 

When we got home I just relaxed as a few more queasy moments. Hoping tomorrow will be fine as we are back to Jane's!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Quick Weekend Check-in

 Just a quick post - I'll play catch-up tomorrow. 

Yesterday wasn't a good day. I was feeling okay when I got up. It had snowed overnight so I thought I'd wait until a little later to talk a walk. I did go out into the garden to take some snowflake photos and it hit me. A wave of nausea. I felt sick to my stomach. From there it seemed every time I tried to move, I felt really nauseous. Needless to say, no walk. I stayed in my chair all day and slept. I had an early night. 

When I woke up this morning I wasn't feeling 100% but a lot better. It was a busy day and I felt fine by about 10am. We had a lot planned so good thing I was okay!

Quick photo (I'd feel funny without including a photo). 

This is one of the deer who visits my garden. I was wondering why the bird feeder was emptying so quickly!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

 Thanks for all the lovely comments on the last post. I really appreciate them. 

Wednesday saw us back at Jane's again. It is draining to keep doing and by the end of the night I forget to do my blog post until I was already in bed and, frankly, I couldn't be bothered to get back out again lol. 

We are coming along with Jane's house, but it is a lot of work. We are working down in the basement and have done quite a bit of it. Next week we hope to contact a couple of different estate sale organisers and go from there. There are things that we will have to remove from the house (that either MIL or husband/myself want) before having a sale. From there we will find out what the next steps are. 

I went for a walk yesterday morning but the trails at my regular walk are so very icy that even with the ice things on my boats it was slow going and slippery. It was snowing too when I went out. I was the only one walking. It was lovely and quiet. Not much wildlife around though I did see a couple of chipmunks. They tend to live in burrows in the ground and now that the snow is melting (and laying again) they are starting to come out. I managed to get a few photos of one in the snow. Poor thing. I bet it was wishing it had stayed in the burrow!

Today I went for a walk somewhere else. The sun was shining but - all change - it's cold again. The trails at this place were actually pretty clear of ice and snow. I think it's because some of the trails are usually cleared and it's a wide-open space that the sun gets on. It was really quiet there too. I had a nice walk - all bundled up. 

This afternoon I watched a Zoom talk for my online camera club. The guest speaker was Jonathan Chritchley who does black and white photography. He spilled the beans that this will be our project next month. The talk was really inspiring, and I have lots of ideas bouncing around in my head. 

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 54/365

My snowy walk on Wednesday. I didn't like the ice, but I loved the peacefulness of the woods. It cleared my mind a little. 

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 55/365

There's sunshine in the woods! Nothing growing yet, but I did hear my first Red-Winged Blackbird today. What a treat! That means there is an end to the long winter and spring is on its way. We are getting more snow tonight so that might just be wishful thinking on my part lol

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Tuesday - what a long day!

Thanks for all the comments yesterday. I think, especially with Jane's house, at some point you have to laugh or you'll end up crying. 

Today - not so great day. Seventh months since Mum died. There's still such a hole in my heart. I wonder if there will ever come a time when the memories make me smile rather than cry. Seems like everyone is moving on and forgetting and I just can't. 

It was raining today. No walk. I couldn't bring myself to go out in it. The snow is melting and it's a mess. I decided instead to run some errands that I've been putting off. The rest of the day was spent doing some photography, cleaning and I did manage to sort out a couple of storage cubes. Days like this make me realise how much I need my walk. It's a time to just connect with nature and not think about things for a while and it makes the day go a lot quicker!

Tomorrow I'll hopefully get out for a walk before heading over to Jane's. 

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 53/365

Not such a smiley day, but trying to take still life photos of this flower made me smile (again). 

For those interested I put a small table next to a window (the window was on the right) and to the left and back of the table I set up black cardboard. As the table was quite low I didn't use my tripod, but I did set my camera on another table on a stack of books. I put the camera on timer. My settings were iso 100 and I experimented between F8 and F11 as I wanted all the petals in focus. I have better results when the background is dark, but if I have to expose to white the results aren't so good.  I think next I'm going to try with my ring light or off camera flash.  I might also try pulling out some of my scrapbook paper and using it as a background instead of trying for all white or all black. 

When I next do it, I'll try to remember to take photos of my actual set-up. It isn't anything fancy. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

New Week

 I was going to post yesterday but I wasn't feeling well when we got back from our day out. I'm fine today, but yesterday afternoon and evening I didn't feel well at all. I'm not sure if I overdid things or it was just that I was standing out in the blustering wind for too long. We had a lovely Sunday Adventure so I did enjoy the day out. It just wasn't fun when I got home! I ended up taking some pain pills and going to bed early. 

Sunday the weather was all-change from Saturday. It was sunny and warmer, but still really, really windy. While I was out at the beach taking photos it almost knocked me off my feet! There was still a lot of ice at the lake so you couldn't see the waves from the shore. I stood on the beach and took photos. I couldn't believe that I saw someone walk (on ice and some shaky) all the way out to the lighthouse (usually in quite deep water) and climb around over there. There was a police car in the car park a little later setting off the siren when people went onto the ice but I'm not sure they saw the man walk out there. I hope he was okay. 

As I was standing on the beach I kept seeing eagles flying over the lighthouse. Husband drove the car a little further up the channel and I got out of the car to watch (and take photos) of the eagles. There were four of them in all - two adults and two juveniles. It was lovely to watch them flying low looking for food. 

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 51/365

Not an eagle photo - I left my phone in the car, but an ice photo. With some of the warmer days we've been having the ice will soon start shrinking. 

Today, after my walk, we were back at Jane's house. We are slowly working our way through the basement. We thought we were done with all the paperwork and boxes of random things that Jane kept but we found several small boxes further back in the basement so we worked on them today. It seems just when we think we're done with something we find more of it! 

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 52/365

This made me laugh out loud rather than smile. I opened one of the boxes of paper and this was on top! Jane must have had it in mind to put a stop to the mass of paper. Lol. 

Saturday, February 19, 2022


 It was a blowy and snowy morning when I woke. It wasn't a good day to go out. Well, we went anyway. We had to drop something off for son. We did stop at the lighthouse, but it was so terribly windy and snowy and there was something like ice pelting us. We took a quick peek, and I took a video and we got back in the car. I think husband was quite exasperated on the way home as the going was really slow. There were times when you couldn't see very far in front of yourself. 

Of course, when we got home things cleared up a little bit. Not a lot though. Husband and son had plans for the afternoon, so I had a quiet few hours. I had a nice long bath, read for a bit and then tried some still life photography. It is not something I am very good at.  I'm not actually sure it's my 'thing', but I would at least like to know how to do it. I dragged everything out, set up the tripod and gave it a go. 

50/365 Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile

Well, sometimes it made me more frustrated than smiley but it kept me busy! This was my set-up. Nothing flashy. I just used some white cardboard, a small table and some flowers I treated myself to this morning. Well, if nothing else the flowers made me smile lol

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2022

End of Week

 It snowed overnight. The roads were quite yucky early, so I decided not to go for a walk. All change from the weather yesterday and it was cold enough to freeze bubbles this morning. So that's what I did. Later, when the clouds cleared and the sun came out, the roads cleared a little, so I decided to drive to the nature park and take a walk as I didn't get out at all yesterday. It was lovely and snow covered, but under the snow was a horrible layer of clear ice. I had to really watch where I walked, and I didn't quite walk as far as I usually do. I did talk to a woman who was also walking with a camera. She asked if I was Sharon and I said I was as she had seen my photos on the Facebook page for the park. We chatted for a little while. It was nice to chat to somewhere else who enjoyed my photos. 

I didn't get a lot else done to be honest. There was a lot of communicating later on. I chatted with my daughter. Facebook messaged with my sister. We usually check in on Fridays with one another. I was hoping she was okay as she was under the red warning for the windstorm. She said that they were all doing okay. I hope everyone else is. On my Ipswich in the US Facebook group there were posts of people losing their fences and such. 

Sister said she had stayed in today. Her son-in-law was off work due to weather, so he was taking care of the children.  It is their half-term next week. Sister said that she and her husband, one daughter, his son and one of her other grandchildren were going to London early in the week. I hope the weather is good for them. 

Talking of wind, it's very windy here tonight. I can hear the wind howling around outside. So far - touch wood - our power has held and so have the trees in the garden. We're under another Winter Weather Advisory with snow and winds up to 50 mph. Lovely. Hope they clear before morning. 

I'm playing catch-up with my Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile. 

Yesterday was a little bit of a rough day. I didn't really feel like smiling a lot. 


Red Leicester Mini Cheddars. I am addicted. I am rationing these out as they aren't easy to find over here. Currently I can't find any. Sigh. They do make me smile. They remind me of home. 


I think I've already shared a frozen bubble. But this made me smile. Weather is all-change from yesterday. It was pretty close to 50F/10C and this morning everything was snow covered and it was cold enough to freeze bubbles! How crazy is that? It's Michigan weather lol. 

Hope everyone has a good weekend. I'm hoping we can get out but it - as usual - depends on the weather!


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Quiet Thursday

 It was a really quiet day here. I stayed in the whole day. I watched some photography webinars from a group I'm in on Facebook. It's called Sheclicks and is a group for female photographers. There are some really interesting women who have come to speak, and the talks are recorded. I have watched a couple as they go live, but I have missed a lot due to the time difference. 

I got my housework done and did some more photos. I got sidetracked with another book. The only time I went outside there was a Cooper's Hawk in one of the trees in my garden. I took a couple of photos of it. His presence was probably why there weren't many birds around! 

The beginning of the day was quite warm (well, it was warm for Michigan lol) and a lot of the snow melted. Then the temperature dropped, and it started snowing again! So, for all of a few hours I could see some yucky brown/greenish grass but now it's all covered up again lol. We are sliding into the end of February though and that means there will be fewer snow days and it will be the icky time of year again when everything is dull and grey until spring starts. 

For some photos today I thought I'd share some pictures I took of the Ice Bridge between St. Ignace and Mackinac Island. 

Mackinac Island is a small island about 6 miles from the mainland of Michigan (St. Ignace way). In the summertime travel between the island and mainland is done by regular running ferries. It is the way people and supplies are taken to the island. The island is a main tourist attraction during the summer. There are only about 500-600 people who live on the island year-round. There are no cars on the island. When winter comes and the lake starts to freeze the island is cut off from the mainland. There is a small plane that brings in supplies. 

If the lake freezes over locals take their old Christmas trees and line a safe path, an Ice Bridge, that people can take snow mobiles across from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island. It doesn't happen every year only if the lake freezes enough. 

When we were up in Upper Peninsula last weekend we stopped by to see if the route was open. It was!

I find the whole thing rather fascinating. I would love to spend a winter on the island just to document it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Sort of Productive Day

 I am going to chalk this day up as a sort-of productive day. I must admit to getting a little distracted - by a good book, and then by photography, but I did manage to get most of what I wanted to do done. 

The morning didn't start off too well. Husband hit a deer on the way to work and seriously damaged the front end of his van. Thankfully he was okay. Sadly, the poor deer was not. Husband goes to work really early in the morning when it is still dark and works out in a small town in the countryside. There was no avoiding the deer as it just ran out in front of him. The plus side is that we don't have to pay for repairs as it is a work van. He has a different van for now. 

I went for a walk. It was surprisingly (and for the first time in a while!) above freezing while I was out walking. The bad thing is that the snow is melting and everything is becoming really slippery. It's raining now and will probably change over to freezing rain and then snow tomorrow. I imagine things are going to be a right old mess. I have plans to stay indoors tomorrow. It is really slippery in our driveway and garden. Yuck. 

I did all my household chores, picked up a couple of things at the shops (that the other shop didn't have yesterday). I avoided the bookshop (go me!). I worked on sorting through some photos. I posted, and have scheduled several posts, on my photography blog for my year-long project. I feel as though I may be catching up!

I am really pleased with some of the photos I took over the weekend. They look as if they are taken in some other world. I love the mounds and fluffy snow rather like whipped cream. This one was taken just before sunset. 

On another note, I did actually do a little bit of crafting today too! It's been a while. So, today, my phone photo - Things That Makes Me Smile is a photo of my crafting work in progress. 


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Back to Normal

 Well, it was nice to be away, but now it's back to normal. I went for my walk. It was chilly but sunny. Then I picked up MIL and we went over to Jane's. It's not our normal day, but we had arranged to meet one of Jane's genealogy friends so she could go through Jane's books and see what local groups could use. It was nice to distribute a few more of Jane's things to someone who would appreciate them. We aren't going the rest of the week. We're supposed to get another storm on Thursday, and I don't want to drive in the snow. We're hoping next week the weather will be better and we can get back to our normal Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We have a sort-of plan going forward and we need to keep going so we can get it done. 

Tomorrow will be a walk, lots of housework and catching up with things I've been falling behind on. I did go get the things we needed for meals for the week today, so I am back on track with that. I feel better knowing that meals are planned, and ingredients are purchased. It makes me feel a little more in control of things and it helps that I don't wake up trying to think of what's for dinner!

The photos today are catching up on my Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile. I have been taking them each day but have now organised the catch-up ones on my phone and so am placing on my blog. There were lots of things that made me smile over the weekend it was tough to pick just one!

42/365 - Friday 11th 

Off on a road trip! The Mackinac Bridge. It wasn't sunny when we arrived close to sunset, but it was lovely all the same and definitely made me smile!

43/365 Saturday 12th 

Getting out for a sunrise even if it was ultra cold! This is a huge ice sculpture that is usually by the lake each winter. I wanted to get have a sunrise view. Made me smile even more as just when we were watching a fox ran right along the lake shore! I don't get to see those very often. 

44/365 Sunday 13th 

We had a lovely day on Sunday. One of the highlights was seeing Tahquamenon Falls in Winter. It was so stunning. There was ice and steam and sunshine. Oh wow. 

45/365 Monday 14th

 Our last sunrise at the lake. Oh my. It was a frigid morning. I was the only (crazy) one out there. I stood on the ice watching the sun rise. I am standing in the lake. The ice was solid all the way across but this is pretty close to the shore. You can see where the ice was formed. 

46/365 Tuesday 15th

I love this tree on my morning walk. It is beautiful in all seasons. It was so peaceful at the park this morning. I only saw one regular couple. The birds were singing and I watched as the robins and finches were eating the last of the berries. Beautiful

Monday, February 14, 2022

Catch-up - Weekend Away

 I had a much-needed weekend away. We went up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was really, really cold - our high temperatures were barely above 0f/-18C but it was sunny and we had a great time! I did do three sunrises, two sunsets with temperatures that froze my hands and feet and face (at that time it was -5F/-21C). We got to see some ice that made me just keep saying oh wow. I hope to share photos later. I just wanted to check in before I go catch up on some blogs.  BTW I was thinking how my adventures would have made Mum laugh or shudder at the temperatures and our antics. 

This is me in an ice cave that we found. I am standing in what is Lake Michigan. It was completely frozen here. 

And husband standing in front of an ice pile in Lake Michigan. I could not believe this when I saw it!

Now it's back to normal life lol

Thursday, February 10, 2022


Today was cloudy and a little snowy. I went to the store but no walk this morning. I really didn't feel like it. I was out for quite a while yesterday and took a lot of photos that I need to sort through, so I thought I'd have a day home. I got some housework done, some photos sorted and got involved in a book. Nothing exciting lol. 

Yesterday while I was out and the sky was nice and blue I tried some abstract photography. I really like how some of them turned out. This is created using ICM - Intentional Camera Movement. I really like the way the blue and the brown of the trees interact with one another. I don't do this sort of photography very often but I find it quite beautiful sometimes - other times mine just look like a mess! There are some people who are really good at it and create spectacular images.  

I hope everyone had a good day. I'm off to bed and will check on blogs in the morning. I was going to do it tonight after I wrote this, but I'm suddenly quite tired and am going to try to sleep while I can!

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 41/365

I put together the other two Lego Mini-figure photographers that I have. They make me smile! I'm going to try to use them in some photographer pretty soon if the snow isn't too deep!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Mid-week again. Not been a productive week. I haven't been sleeping too well. Last night I ended up on the sofa. Hubby was snoring so bad I could hear him through the earplugs. I tried several times to get him to roll over - and he did - but he was still snoring. I gave up and went to the sofa. Sigh.

Went for nice long walks yesterday and today. It was quite sunny. There were lots of robins around today. I was really excited to see this leucistic Robin. It was quite easy to spot against the lovely blue sky. 

There were lots of birds around today enjoying the last of the crab apples and berries. Early in the morning a couple of deer were underneath the crab apple tree enjoying what the birds had dropped to the ground. 

It's supposed to snow overnight and maybe tomorrow. If it looks dull I might skip the walk and try to get some things done around here. I have been keeping up with the basics but that's about it. 

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 39/365

Not the best photo but this definitely made me smile! Nothing coming down this slide except snow! :)

Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 40/365

The sky made me smile today. It was blue and there were lovely fluffy clouds in it. My kind of cloud day. 

Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday Again

Ack. It was such beautiful day today. Monday dawns and it's all change! After a rough sleeping night I got up to get ready to go for a walk, go outside to warm up my car so I can go for a walk and feel it drizzling on me. No, not just drizzling, but I look at the car and it is frozen drizzle! My car has a layer of ice on it! I went back into the house and finished the fun book I was reading. It finally stopped the freezing drizzle around 9am and I have to be at MIL's to pick her up so we can go to Jane's house at 10am. I go for a quick walk. I was the only one at the park and it was really quiet. I think that even the birds had decided to stay in the trees! I saw a few squirrels and one deer. 

I got to MIL's to find that her driveway was covered in ice! Yikes. Not fun. When I walk at the park I wear Yaktrax on my boots as it's quite icy, but I took them off before I got to MIL's. I put them back on so that when we got to Jane's I could get out of the car safely and get some driveway salt from the garage to put down before MIL went in the house. 

We worked on Jane's kitchen. We have gone through all the cupboards and countertops and have sorted out anything we want and threw out any rubbish. The rest we left in the cupboards for the sale. Over here people have what are called Estate Sales. They are held in houses and the belongings are sold from the house. As Jane had a lot of collectibles we are planning on holding one of these. We are getting to the point where we will soon have to talk to someone about having an estate sale. We are going to pick out a couple of people who organise these and have them come over and talk to us about what they do, how they manage things and that sort of thing. There is such a lot of stuff. It really is still quite overwhelming!

It was snowing a little bit when I took MIL back home and we've had snow showers most of the afternoon. The weather forecast calls for sunshine tomorrow but I am not holding my breath!

Phone Photo - Things That Make Me Smile 


This book was a fun, easy read. It made me smile as does the bookmark!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Sunday Adventure

 Thanks for all the lovely comments regarding the photos. I had a fun time creating them.

Must say that today the weather actually cooperated! It was beautiful and sunny. We decided to try again for the state park we had been planning on yesterday. We got there about half an hour after it was to be open only to find that there were locked gates across the entrance! Ack! We had planned on another stop after that - Michigan City, Indiana. There are two lighthouses there and we were interested to see how the ice was building up. It's not somewhere we tend to go - maybe once in the springtime as there are usually lots of daffodils there. It's funny because it was somewhere I was thinking we should go to today (normally we go further north but the weather there did not look good). When I got up this morning husband asked where we should go and I kind of shrugged and he said how about Michigan City and Warren Dunes? We were both thinking the same thing!

Anyway, we headed down towards Michigan City and got a little sidetracked by a view we could see through some streets as we drove along. We decided to take a detour and ended up on a new-to-us beach that had some gorgeous ice build-up. It was stunningly beautiful, like some sort of foreign land of ice and snow. 

The beach at Michigan City was beautiful too. In Indiana the time is an hour earlier than ours, so it was still quite early when we got there, and the beach was deserted. There were beautiful patterns in the sand and ice hills. If it wasn't so cold, I could have spent hours there just wandering along. 

On our way back we decided to see if Warren Dunes State Park was open. It was! We got out there, took another walk along the beach and saw more ice. There were quite a few people about. There are huge sand dunes close to the beach and in the winter people sled down them. 

All-in-all it was a beautiful day. Lot of sunshine. Lots of walking. Lots of photography.  It's difficult to pick a scene that made me smile today as I smiled quite a bit, but I decided on this one. 

37/365 Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile

Here are a couple more phone photos from Michigan City

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Saturday Adventure

 Well, today didn't quite turn out how I planned. We had decided we were going to take a drive down to Warren Dunes State Park and see how the ice was building up along the shore there. Usually there are really lovely views of ice there in winter. We got almost to where our son lives (which is about 20 miles from the park) and it started to snow. Big, fat flakes of snow. It was pretty but not to drive in. The road was quite covered, so we decided not to go. I checked the weather radar on my phone, and it looked as though as snowstorm was just sitting over that area! We got off the motorway and took a really snow- covered road up the shoreline to where it looked like things were clear. I did get out there - same place as last week lol - took some photos and the sun promptly came out. 

As today was the first Saturday of the month I participated in the A Year with my Camera #1Day12pics. You are supposed to take one photo per hour on your day. Usually, I try to do a theme or a portrait of my day, not necessarily one an hour. Today I took my macro lens and my Lego photographer out on our journey and then took some more macro photos when I came home. Here's my twelve. 

The big photo on the bottom is a close-up of these absolutely tiny little figures (you can see them in my hand in another photo) and I had them working on a chocolate Hero Creme Egg Twisted. Thought that was fun. 

Hope everyone had a good day! I had a lot of fun. 

36/365 Phone Photo - Things That Make Me Smile 

It had to be a phone photo of my Lego set-up outside. Made me smile to take these photos today - it was fun!

Friday, February 4, 2022

End of Week

 So glad the snow is done! Well, we're expecting a dusting tonight but nothing more at least until the middle of next week. I managed to get out of the drive and braved the drive to the park on Thursday, but the roads were really slippery and icy as it was too cold for the salt to work. On the way back I slid past our road and had to turn down the next one. I decided after that just to stay home. I didn't go out today either lol. It was enough to put me off! 

Today it was really cold in the morning. I think it was about 6f/-14C in the morning. At that temperature nothing on the roads was melting. What to do what it's that cold? Freeze bubbles, of course. I'll try to share some photos over the weekend. 

The online camera club I'm in is going over aperture again this month as part of the A Year With My Camera Year 2. One of the things we're talking about is different lenses and how it's important to learn what your lens is capable of, how it works, what its 'sweet spot' is and more. I decided to pull out my little used 105mm macro lens that I like but I don't know a lot about. I decided to pull out one of my miniature Lego photographers and give it a go while I was out there.  Here's one. 

It was quite fun. I did have to keep coming indoors to warm up as it was so cold!!!

Not sure what we're doing this weekend. We'll go out somewhere. It is supposed to be sunny so we'd better make the most of it!

Photo a day - Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 34/365

My MIL and FIL surprised husband with a new snowblower! Made me smile - and him too! It will make things a lot easier when he has to remove all the snow. 


Smile today - me, my camera, some bubbles and a straw. Lol. Was fun. Cold, but fun!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

2/2/2022 Groundhog Day

It's 2 2 22 today. My son was the one to mention it. The date would have entirely gone by me lol. It's also Groundhog Day here in the US. Weird superstition/tradition. I knew nothing about it before I came here so I thought I'd share. 

Disclaimer - this is how I understand Groundhog Day. 

Every year on February 2nd in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania a special festival is held for their famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. The festival starts before sunrise. Folklore says that if it is cloudy when Phil emerges from his hole, he will leave his burrow and there will be an early spring. If it is sunny and the groundhog sees his shadow, he will go back into his burrow and there will be six more weeks of winter. Once Phil has made his decision it is said he will tell the president of the Groundhog Club in a secret language called 'Groundhogese'. The president will then let the gathering crowd know. 

It is said that Groundhog Day began as a German custom during the 18th and 19th century and is believed to be influenced by European lore where a badger or bear was used to forecast the coming spring instead of a groundhog. 

This is a photo of Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog President. 

Well, did Phil see his shadow? Will there be six more weeks of winter? 

He saw his shadow, so we are in for six more weeks of winter. That's not a surprise to those of us who live in Michigan. 

We had quite the snowstorm today. It's still snowing, and we have about 8-9 inches of snow. I stayed indoors except to go outside and put birdseed out for the poor birds who were eating like crazy. Four deer stopped by several times during the day to eat some birdseed. There were two lying down in the snow when I got up this morning. There are several trees at the back of our garden, and I think they were hunkering down back there. 

Husband and son went off to work as usual. When they came home they both worked hard to clear the driveway, pavements in front of our house (as we are required to do) and rake the roof - this is so the snow doesn't build up too much, melt and drip and cause really bad icicles. It took quite a while and - as I said - it's still snowing but hopefully it's winding down. 

33/365 Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile 

One of our old Christmas Trees buried in snow. The birds love hiding underneath the bottom of this tree. Made me smile to see such lovely snow and know that I don't have to go out in it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

A New Month

 February 1st. Seems this last month has gone by quite quickly.

 Looking back there are some things to mark in the 'I did it' column and more than a few to enter in to the 'failed it'. One of the most positive things this month was the low spend. I didn't do as well as I could have on the food spending. There were several reasons for this. I had thought about cooking mostly from what we had but with the way the food shelves in the shops near us have been recently I thought it was better to keep some things on hand. Also, during winter I hate driving in the snow so I want to make sure I have things on hand so that I don't make myself too anxious. I didn't hoard or go overboard on the food spending but I feel comfortable enough that we items on hand if needed. 

I feel pretty good about leisure spending this month. We didn't eat out at all. I can't remember if MIL and I went to craft stores this month or not but I didn't go alone at all and I spent no money in one or one online (despite having some items in various shopping carts). I do admit to having a book failure. I purchased three books and the magazines I showed. I'm going to try to continue on for this month - perhaps do better. Money is still quite tight so that's an incentive lol. 

 I got all my neglected housework done today. I did go for a really long walk, partly with my friend and partly by myself. It was such a beautiful day I couldn't stay inside. The sun was shining, the skies were blue and it was above freezing!!! We are going to be under a Winter Storm Warning in a few hours. Because it is above freezing it is raining outside. That is going to turn to snow as the temperatures fall. It is supposed to snow most of the day tomorrow. We are in the line to get between 7-12 inches when this is all done. Of course, that's just a prediction. We could end up with very little lol. 

I did go through a few photos today. I thought I'd share one of the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (try saying that fast a few times!) that got me sidetracked yesterday. Isn't it beautiful?

My phone did an update and now I find it really difficult to manage my phone photos. Sigh. I have two of my photo-a-day to share. 

31/365 Phone Photos. Things That Make Me Smile. 

A nice walk in the park. Made me smile because even though this park is even further in the middle of town it was filled with birdlife and wildlife! 

32/365 Phone Photos - Things That Make Me Smile. 

The calm before the storm. The beautiful day made me smile. It was warm (well, warm for Michigan!), sunny and the birds were singing.