Saturday, December 30, 2023

Last Couple of Days

Some lovely sunshine on Thursday. It streamed through the windows and caused this lovely reaction on the wall. 

Daughter didn't have much of anything to do at work, just a little tidying up before leaving for her maternity leave. We took the dogs for a little walk. Not far but just the 'short way'. It was good to get out for a little exercise. No sign of daughter's phone. It won't be back until sometime next week now. Sigh. 

Saturday. No sunrise. Rather dull and cloudy and now (late afternoon, evening) there are a few snow showers. I did get out this morning for a walk. It was lovely just to get out and wander. I didn't go for too long as daughter said she wanted to go into town to do some shopping and looking around. There were a couple of crafty items I forgot to bring with me, so I was glad to go along. 

I think the shopping wore daughter out as she laid down to take a nap and didn't wake up for about four hours! I did a little crafting while she was in bed. I have set up a table in the guest bedroom so I can have a space out of the way to craft. I got five card toppers put together - they are 3d decoupage. There are several layers that stack together so the design pops out. I find them fun to do. Next thing will be to put them on some card bases!

Not the best light in these phone photos as I took them late in the afternoon. Fun designs!

Tomorrow, I'm off for a walk sometime. It might be a bit later than I wanted to go as there might be some snow on the roads and - yikes - I don't like driving in it!  I also want to write down some plans for next year. Not resolutions, but more things I'd like to work on. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023


I was trying to think of a catchy title, but just couldn't, so Thursday it is. It wasn't the brightest beginning to the day but there was no precipitation today so it's an improvement! I decided I had to get out for a bit, so I decided to take the dogs for a walk. They are quite a lot to handle, so it was one at a time. I didn't go too far - I'm not that familiar with the streets where daughter lives and I didn't want to get lost. The dogs seemed to know where they were going as Sasha (the black husky) was trying to pull me in another direction that daughter later told me was the way they usually go. Isn't it strange how dogs seem to remember a familiar route? I remember when I used to walk Shasta around the roads near daughter's apartment - there was a short way and a long way - and she would become quite insistent which way she wanted to go lol. Luckily, these two were a little more willing to be led somewhere else.

Sierra at the top and Sasha at the bottom. 

I went out by the main road right near a farm. They live in a small town in the country. 

See, there is a little blue in the sky. Later it cleared out quite nicely - pretty close to sunset (of course!)

From the staircase window. 

Later on, we did pop to one of the few shops in town. It was funny to see the Valentine's Day things out already!

We did get a few housey things done today. Among this we sorted out the electric steraliser - yes that is a thing! I remember when my children were babies we boiled the bottles in a big metal pan that had this plastic insert thing where you put the bottles. This contraption they have steralises and dries off the bottles! It even keeps them 'safe' for 24 hours. Quite nifty. Good thing we unpacked it and looked at it as it is recommended that you run it through two cycles before you use it! Daughter is planning on breastfeeding if possible but she will be returning to work so baby will be having bottles too. 

Tomorrow is daughter's last day at work. I think she will be glad to be done. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

I slept in a bit later this morning. When I woke up I could hear daughter having a Zoom meeting, so I stayed in bed reading until she was done. I didn't want to disturb her or cause the dogs to get all excited. They still seem to find it exciting that I'm there in the morning! Sure enough, when I did get out of bed they were all jumpy and barky. 

I was a bit more productive today. As daughter doesn't have a lot to do at work, she's decided to spend the time getting her office organised and tidy and ready for when she does return to work. The office had become a bit of a place to put things just to get them out of the way space over the Christmas period. We got a lot done, things organised, put away. There is still a bit more to do, but it's looking (I say) a lot better than it did. Daughter seems to get tired easily right now. She is having problems with her back and by the end of the day she'd just about had enough. 

She had a doctor's appointment later in the day. I rode along with her. We were going to stop somewhere after, but when we were leaving the garage we couldn't get one of the doors to go down! We were cutting it a little close, so had to leave it open until we got back. Once back, it still wasn't working so (as her husband told us to do - we're not used to automatic openers) we pulled a cord and managed to work it until the door came down. When her husband came back he checked it and it worked!! Of course it did! We had tried it several times, using the opener inside the car and inside the garage. I hope it was just a fluke thing. 

I can't wait to go for a walk again! I am really missing my walks. Today was another rainy/snowy/cloudy day. Things look a bit brighter for tomorrow. Daughter tracked her phone and it has been delivered to the repair place. Hoping they can get it out before the weekend. We'll see. I will - if the weather is dry -  get out for several walks this weekend while daughter's husband is home. There are a few local trails I'd like to try while they are clear. 

Photo for today - one of the majestic eagles that live at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. There are lots of them about in this area and several nests!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Boxing Day

It isn't really a thing here in America, but usually we end up sort of celebrating it. Husband usually takes the day off and we go somewhere. Not this year. He went to work and I'm at daughter's house.

We did go out briefly this morning. She took a couple of hours off work to take her phone to be dropped off to be mended. We're not sure when it will come back. We're hoping before the New Year, but who knows? We stopped in a couple of shops and picked up a few things that were on clearance. Not a lot but it was nice to just get out of the house. It has rained for almost three days! Usually, it would be snowing. Not sure which is worse. It's been so grey and dark. I'm sure that wasn't helping my mood yesterday either. 

I'm feeling a bit brighter today. As I said, it did help to get out too. I can't go far the next few days as daughter doesn't have a phone at all and I don't want her left alone 'just in case'. She's due on the 11th January but you never know! If the weather dries up a bit, I will take the dogs for a walk (one at a time as they are quite big) around the streets near daughter's house. It will get me out a bit and be a bit of exercise for the dogs. 

I'm starting to think about projects/goals for the New Year. Has anyone else given any thought to things they'd like to work on? Do you make resolutions or just goals and plans? I've got a few ideas, but I really need to jot them down. I think that's something I can work on for the next few days. 

I got lots of presents yesterday - it says something when both of your sons get you a bottle of Malibu as part of your present - ha ha! I also got lots of chocolates - the family knows me so well! I actually brought the box pictured below for myself and gave them to husband to wrap up. Milk Tray. I remember these so well. They were always on our sideboard for the array of goodies Mum put out. I always enjoyed looking at the pictures and trying to pick the ones I really wanted. Good memories. 

I played around with the AI thing again. Sometimes it's successful, sometimes not. I was trying to get Santa with animals, but it never worked out well. I say that, but I just tried it again and it came up with this. I suppose sometimes it's about getting the wording right lol

Back tomorrow - hopefully I'll be more productive!

Monday, December 25, 2023

Happy Christmas to all

Just a quick post. 

I'm glad to be here with daughter, but just feeling a little down the last couple of days so no posts. I think I'll be ok once the next couple of days are over. Sometimes I find it a little tough at Christmas. It's also my first Christmas away from hubby and the other couple of kids as well as MIL and others. 

That being said, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas - if you celebrate. 

I should be back tomorrow and a bit more cheery!

An ornament my Mother-in-Law made just to make you smile!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Christmas Eve Eve

It seems really strange to be away from home for Christmas. I'm not sure I like it. I actually miss the rushing around like crazy (I did do that last week lol), I miss seeing the presents under the tree and the anticipation of seeing even grown people open the gifts I picked out for them. I am thankful to be here with daughter. I am thankful to be able to see baby when she arrives. It's just all a little odd.

I actually slept in today. That's strange for me. Usually I'm up really early, down by Asylum Lake and taking a walk. I did manage to get in a little walk today. It was cloudy and grey, but mild for Minnesota in December. I have been wanting to go to the Wildlife Refuge shop for quite a while - years actually but I never get around to it. It's only open now on Thursdays and Saturdays until the end of the year and then it won't open until Spring. So today I went. I treated myself to a few things (I'll take photos another day). Then I went for a walk on the trails around the Learning Centre. 

Once back at daughter's, I've been playing around on the computer. Tomorrow, I have to make a plan, get some projects started and then daughter and I are going to be watching some Christmas films. Son-in-Law is going to his mother's house later in the afternoon. Daughter has opted not to go. She's getting rather tired right now. 

There's rain in the forecast for a few days. Usually it would be snow, but it's too mild. No chance of a white Christmas I don't think. This time last year we ended up with an ice storm that caused daughter not to come for Christmas. Sigh. 

I thought I'd share a little video of our small tree that I took before I left Michigan. We've pared down the ornaments and have only put on a few, treasured ones. Mother-in-Law made most of these. She's so talented!

Friday, December 22, 2023


Missed yesterday. I meant to post, but I'm behind on making a calendar for my sister. I haven't really been in the mood to make one, but she always tells me how much she enjoys them so I thought I'd give it a go. Usually, I pick a place over here to make it and then post it, but last year the cost of postage was terrible! I think it cost over $20 to post it! Then there is the cost of the calendar. I decided to see if I could get it printed in the UK and then I'd just have to pay for 1st class postage. I found somewhere, made the calendar, ordered it and, although it will be late, it should make it by the end of the year. Just. I wanted to get it done last night so that I could tell sister it was on the way (when I talked to her today). 

She told me that BIL (my other sister's husband) finally had his radiation. He had to stay in the hospital for a couple of nights due to something. Hopefully he will be able to go home tomorrow. Sister said he was in quite a bit of pain. Apparently, the tumours were somewhere that could be quite painful. The doctors are hopeful that they managed to get all of them. He has to have a scan in a month and another in two months. They could certainly use some good news. I hope he is out of the hospital in time for Christmas. His mum's funeral is on the 27th. Really hope he can go to it. 

I got out for a drive today, but it was so foggy and cloudy I couldn't see a lot! 

I did play around a bit with an AI generator today. You put in a few words, choose a style and wait for the app to do its work. 

I put in Chipmunk celebrating Christmas

and Beaver Celebrating Christmas - not sure why he gets a drink lol

It's quite addicting! I really would like to find a program that lets you input your own photographs to come up with something. 

Back tomorrow. It will be a - gosh! - quiet day at home probably. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023


I got up early this morning, determined to see a sunrise. I made it! The wildlife drive opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 mins after sunrise. It was really beautiful. 

Look at that wonderful sky!

Hard to see in this photo (it's from my phone) but one of the eagle pairs were sitting in one of the trees. Was lovely to see. 

I was really sad to see on their Facebook page that the Wildlife Drive will be shut from Friday! It's usually already closed as, by now, there is lots of snow, but not this year. I suppose I should be thankful it's still been open this week. The good news is that, as long as the weather is good, there are lots of trails that I can explore. 

Bad news, daughter broke her phone and has to send it away to be fixed!!! She has breakage coverage, but there is nowhere close that will be able to fix it (broken screen) so has to send it away. She did check on prices for it to be fixed and it would cost $300! Needless to say, she has opted to send it away, but that means she will be without a phone for several days. I will be staying at the house with her just in case something happens (as they have no landline). We are hoping she'll receive the package to send it in by Friday so I will have at least until the end of this week to get out and about. 

I'm getting up early again tomorrow so I can get in one last morning at the Wildlife Drive. 

Back tomorrow. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Christmas Lights

Usually when we come to daughter's for her birthday, we try to see some Christmas Lights. We hadn't made any plans this year though as daughter is 8 months pregnant and really not in the mood to walk around far. However, she did find a little park that we could drive through so we went there and then checked out a couple of houses in the area that had entered a town holiday lights competition. It was enough for a little taste of Christmas. 

I took just a few phone photos. 

Back tomorrow!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Monday in Minnesota

Was really cold when I woke up this morning. The temperature was 10F/-12C when I got up and only got up to 21F/-6C. I got up early so I could see husband off. He drove back to Michigan today. Really not the day to do it. Our part of Michigan is under a Winter Storm Warning. I was worried all day. He had a good drive until he went past Chicago and round the corner into Michigan. There was white out conditions and blowing snow. He's a really good, confident driver, but I worried none the less. Apparently, there was a really bad accident earlier in the day on the stretch of road he had to go on, so he had to go around the back way. People were going 10-15mph. 

This is a news photo from the incident

Thankfully he made it home safely. I was so glad to hear it!

Back here in Minnesota, I did go out to the wildlife drive today. It was bright and sunny, but I didn't see much just a couple of eagles. Daughter had to work, and I didn't want to disturb her so, as long as the weather is good, I thought it best to make myself scarce. I did find a new eagles' nest and a new beaver lodge! I was surprised at the nest as it is so close to one of the car parks. It is on a stretch of path that can't be walked during spring and summer, but you can see it so clearly from the car park. It's certainly one to keep an eye on. 

Look at that lovely sunshine! Back tomorrow. We did go to see some Christmas lights last night and I took a few phone photos I'll share tomorrow. 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Quick Check In from Minnesota

The journey to daughter's house seemed to take forever this time! It is a long trip. The weather along the way was good and we actually made good time. We had a good old rest Friday night. Saturday was a busy day. It was the Christmas get-together with my Son-in-law's family. I made sausage rolls - which are always enjoyed - and we had a lot of other food. We exchanged gifts, did a gift game and generally had a nice time. It was a little different as my Son-in-law had lost his dad this past summer, the first Christmas without him, and his mom was obviously not in a great holiday celebrating mood. 

Today - Sunday - husband and I took a quick trip to the wildlife refuge. Because of the lack of snow the drive is still open! We saw several eagles. There isn't a lot of other bird life around - the ponds are mostly frozen over. Husband filled up the car ready for his trip back tomorrow. It is going to be strange. The rest of the day we are just relaxing. 

A couple of phone photos from the last couple days

Adorable Sierra. She's so goofy. I don't think she realises quite how big she is! She turned one today!

Sasha seems really sad. She just lost Koda (their other husky) a few weeks ago. Koda was older than her and she knew nothing but Koda.

I'll hopefully be back tomorrow and catch up with other blogs. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Drum Roll Please....

Well, I am all bought, wrapped and packed. I did it. It's a relief. Not sure how everything is going to fit into the car, but we are all ready to go. Gifts here are all bought and wrapped (a couple stocking stuffers are arriving in a couple of days, but husband will wrap). I am still excited, nervous and anxious. I must admit to being a little sad that I won't be around the rest of my family for Christmas - it's my first time away - but I am anxious to meet my little granddaughter (when she arrives). As I've said before, I'm really excited that daughter wants me to be around. I am thankful her husband - my lovely son-in-law - likes me enough that he's willing to have me stay lol. 

We'll be leaving early in the morning. I'm not sure if I'll post for the next couple of days though I will try. I have obviously packed up the computer and will be taking it along with me. After the weekend I should be back to normal blogging. Husband is staying for the weekend and then he'll be heading back to Michigan. Daughter is working until the end of the year - unless she has the baby before. Her due date is January 11th so we shall see! I am hopefully going to get out for some walks as long as the weather is good. Minnesota is usually a lot colder than Michigan. The average high for Minnesota in January (where daughter is) is 22F/-5.5C and the low is 4F/-15.5C. That's pretty chilly to go for a long walk! 

Anyway, I'll wrap it up here. 

I took quite a few photos at the lodge this morning. The beavers put on quite a lovely show this morning (camera photos will follow at a later date). One swam up really close to the edge of the lake. Felt quite sad that I won't see them for a while. I do know where there are a couple of lodges close to daughter's and will maybe be able to see some there if the waters aren't frozen!

Here's a few phone photos. Was beautiful out. 

You can see that the lodge is actually spilling out onto the path! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Mid-Week - Lighthouse and Beaver and Busy!

Well, it's certainly getting down to the last minute before I leave here. I am... well, sort of anxious, sort of stressed, sort of pleased with how things are going. Presents are (almost) done and (almost) wrapped. I've (almost) decided what I'm taking craft/photo/book wise, just started with the clothes. I'm a last-minute packer so that part isn't bothering me. I think I'm planning on taking clothes for a week to ten days and then repeat. It won't give me much variety, but hey, I won't be going anywhere fancy, there is a washer and dryer and I want warm and comfy. At this point I'm more worried about how everything is going to fit into the car - yikes! Wouldn't be so bad without the Christmas stuff. We'll see. 

I have sorted through the windy lighthouse photos - so here's a couple 

I really like seeing the surfers out. They are a far braver bunch than me lol. 

On another note, the beavers on my walk have been busy. I sorted out some photos from last week. This is one I took last week. 

I'll - hopefully - be back tomorrow!

Monday, December 11, 2023

Quick Monday Catch-up

I meant to write a halfway decent blog post today, but I'm sitting her falling asleep already so I think it's time to tumble into bed. Had a busy day and have a busy few days ahead. I got quite a bit done today so that's a plus! It's been grey and horrible the last couple of days. We did manage to get to the lakeshore yesterday. It was raining when we arrived. 

Through the car window

I did manage to get out for a quick walk along the beach. It was pretty windy and there were waves at the lighthouse. I'll post a couple of photos on tomorrow's post - still looking through them.

Busy day tomorrow - I've got a haircut, errands to run, wrapping to do. Hopefully things are winding down. 

Hope everyone is well. 

Saturday, December 9, 2023


 I was looking forward to getting out by myself for a walk this morning. When I went to bed the forecast was okay, even called for sun. Was it that way when I got up? Nope. There was a chance of rain, but I took the chance and decided to go out. It poured. I got wet. The only thing on the plus side was that it was really quiet - no twits out apart from me - and I saw the beavers. I hate to go harping on about them, but they had been busy overnight. They've started on a big tree right by the trail. 

This is all new from yesterday and there was more too! Wow - busy, busy beavers. 

I had quite a productive day when I got home even though I thought about doing not a lot of anything. I got some wrapping done, some sorting and putting away of things (general tidying up I want to get done before I leave). Husband put up the tree. Middle son came to visit. I was sure I had all my shopping done, then I realised that I didn't have anything for son-in-law's mother and then middle son told me his girlfriend might be at the house on Christmas Day. I'd hate for her to not have anything to open so I have to get a few bits for her. Sigh. I do have 90% of it done though and I feel in a better place all around. 

Tomorrow is supposed to be another lousy weather day - sigh. We're going to the lakeshore even if all we do is sit in the car lol. I will miss the lake while I'm gone. I am going to take the afternoon to just chill, maybe (shock!) make a list or two while I'm thinking of things that need to be done in the upcoming few days. 

Last phone photo - once the rain had cleared - yup, it cleared as soon as I'd finished my walk - there were some strange clouds in the sky. There were big black clouds and then part blue sky. 

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Friday, December 8, 2023

Countdown - a few thoughts

I have six days left to get things bought, wrapped and taken care of so the family here can have a good Christmas AND I'm all packed up and on my way for an extended stay in Minnesota. Yikes. I am running out of time. I feel...well, I'm not pulling my hair out yet, but I am getting a little stressed. On the plus side, the shopping is almost done. 

Today I went for a walk - dropped Ebay things off at the Post Office - laundry - talked to daughter - messaged with sister - sorted out the craft room a bit more and then sat this evening watching Vera repeats. I think things will work out. I have started putting together a few things to take with me. It will certainly be strange - being away from here for Christmas, being away for an extended period - but I am SO very thankful that my daughter would like me there. I'm thankful that she thinks that much of me that she'd like my help. I am going to really try to be helpful and be there for what they need. It's so interesting to watch daughter and her husband navigate adding this new little human addition to their family. 

It's now, especially, that I'm thinking of Mum. She was a really strong woman and could be opinionated in some areas of life. But she was always there to support me, to just be there, not say 'I told you so' or make me feel bad about my decisions. As young as I had my own children, she never told me that I was making mistakes or told me I should do things a certain way. I appreciate that. I'm glad daughter knows that I'll support her and husband as they welcome baby to their family. They are first time parents and that's always a struggle. I think back on having my own children and how careful and overly protective I was of my first one. 

If you've had children, do you remember those days? 

Back tomorrow, hopefully. 

This was taken a while ago. Baby's getting a lot bigger now!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Happy Dance - Happy Dance - SUNSHINE

There was sunshine to be had today! It's surprising how just a little bit of sunshine can cheer me up no end. There was a lovely sunrise today and the beavers were out doing their thing. I sat for a while, just watching, enjoying. 

The rest of the day was a mixture of household things and such. Not all that exciting. It's coming to the end of the week and I'm not as far along as I had hoped to be. I now only have a week left. The good thing is that, although next week might be crazy busy and a little stressful, once I get to daughter's I will be able to relax. I can get things done so that the family here can have a good Christmas. 

Phone photos from my walk today. These were all taken by the beaver lodge. It is certainly getting really big!

Hopefully back tomorrow!