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Monday, April 15, 2024

Sunday Adventure

It was such a beautiful day yesterday. A lovely burst of almost summer-like weather. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature reached 76F/24C!!!! We decided to go for a walk on the beach at Michigan City, Indiana and then down to Indiana Dunes National Park. I really like visiting there. There were a lot of people walking the trails, but we found one that wasn't too bad. It was really lovely being outside. 

The trees are still mostly bare, but you can see the beginnings of leaves and some of the blossom is now blooming. There weren't too many birds around, but we could hear the spring peepers (frogs) making lots of noise. There were a few early ground flowers if you looked closely. 

Later, when we were home, middle son and his girlfriend stopped by. They had gone with our other son (the older one who lives with us) to a Comic Con that was in town. They stayed for a little while before heading back to their respective houses. All-in-all it was a pretty good day. 

Some phone photos from our adventure



They are starting to get the beaches ready for the summer season. This means evening out the sand.




This made me smile today (105). Somebody had left their mark in the sand!





The trail that we walked along








Lovely sunny skies!


Saturday, April 13, 2024

Saturday

The sun was shining this morning. Really lovely. I got out early and sat and watched the beavers for a while and then had a nice walk. There was a fisherman right by the beavers' lodge, but he moved soon after I arrived and then the beavers came out. I'm not sure why they fish right there as the sticks and tree logs line the bottom of the lake. It seems there are other, clearer areas where the fishing would be better, but what do I know? 

Anyway, it was very relaxing. After watching the beavers, I took a walk. I heard lots of bird sounds. Up in the field the Tree Swallows and the Blue Birds were competing over who would get to occupy the two bird houses. A little Chickadee even took a lot in one of the houses while the Tree Swallows and Blue Birds were flying around.

A little later husband and I went out to do a bit of shopping and to take a look around for poly greenhouses (not sure that's the right term). We don't want anything too big, but something that would protect plants from the deer. It has to be able to be taken down and stored in winter. We think we've found one, but we want to do more research as to what else (food) we can grow there in pots. 

I did actually do a bit of sorting today too. I'm on a roll! No books today but I was up in the craft room. Some hard decisions will have to be made. Sigh.

Question - how long should an item be kept if it's not been used so far? 

Question - when decluttering, is the price you paid for something a consideration in whether you get rid of it or not? Or do you just chalk it up to a purchasing error and - hopefully - going forward you avoid that error? 

Some things I really have to think about. I think that second one is holding me back in some areas. 

One of my beaver photos from this week



Some phone photos from my walk today and my Things That Make Me Smile photo












104/366 - it's sunny!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday - Sorting and Decluttering

Ugh. Rainy Day. Most of the day. I tried for a walk but got wet so basically did a tiny one. Later in the day it did brighten up a bit, but it was very windy. I kept looking out of the window at one of the trees in the garden. It's a pine of some kind but looks dead. We need to have someone come cut it down but have been procrastinating. We are going to make it a priority once we get back from visiting daughter. I really don't want it to come down in a storm. It's huge and really close to the property line. 

I spent the day doing quite a bit of sorting. There are another 43 books added to the donate pile. WOW! I'm on a roll. I've done way more than the target I expected and am quite pleased with myself. There is still a LOT to go. I can't believe how I can fit this many books in my house. It isn't that big. I also sorted out a two-cube unit that was mostly books and had camera stuff on the top. The books have gone, and the camera stuff is now in the cube unit so it's looking a lot tidier. 

I also went up in the craft room and sorted through a container full of ribbons. I sorted out several that could be donated. There was some spare space, so I put in some other random ribbons that were not put away. 

Husband also took 5 boxes of (not books) donations to the charity shop. So far, I'm quite pleased with what I've managed to get rid of this month. I need to keep plugging along. 

Phone Photos from the quick walk






Just puddles lol. There was lots of water around. 

Things That Make Me Smile 103/366



A lovely candle that made things a little brighter today. I have a lot of candles and am really trying to actively use them. It smelled lovely!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Week Flying By

 It was another lovely day yesterday. I spent far too much time outside. Good thing too as today it was chucking it down. The rain is supposed to last through tomorrow too! I am not pleased. 

As I said, yesterday I did spend quite a bit of time walking with my friend, then I (finally) had a much-needed haircut, ran a couple of errands and still managed to get a bit done at home. 




101/366 Lovely blue skies for my walk. Everything was so wonderfully calm.  Quite a change from today lol. I certainly made the most of it!

Today I stayed in. I procrastinated quite a bit and got a little distracted by an unusual garden visitor. 

102/366



A Turkey! It was around the garden quite a bit. My neighbour's dog came out for a little while and scared the poor turkey up into one of the large pines at the back of the garden! I did not know that turkeys could fly that high and get up in the trees but apparently, they do!

I did get some house things done 

DRUM ROLL .....

Another 13 books to add to the pile!!!



I also finished sorting through the clothes. I can check that off the list! There is still a long way to go, but I feel as though I'm starting to make progress!

I also had a video chat with daughter and Baby A. She was babbling away and trying to grab the phone! Then I messaged with my sister. We usually do this on Friday but she's off for the weekend as it's her husband's 60th birthday and their family, daughters and grandchildren included are having a weekend away. We'll do the same next week as we are leaving for daughter's house on Friday. 

Hopefully back tomorrow. More rain, probably, so maybe more sorting progress!




Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Monday and Tuesday

Not a bad start to the week. The weather has been glorious. I've been going out for my morning walks. It's been so nice not to have to be all bundled up. I didn't go anywhere for the eclipse yesterday. In fact, I wasn't even going to watch it, but the weather was so gorgeous I ended up sitting in the garden birdwatching and glancing up at the sun once in a while (through glasses). I hadn't thought to get any glasses - that's how much I wasn't going to watch it - but MIL said she had some extra, so I decided to grab a couple pairs just in case. When husband came home from work, he sat in the garden with me and watched. I'm glad I didn't go anywhere else for it though. I'm not a fan of crowds or people so it was nice just to be in the garden - food, drinks and loo close at hand ha ha. 

Today I spend far too long at the park. It was so beautiful I got distracted. It's supposed to rain both Thursday and Friday, so I'll make up for house time then. 

I did get things done though - I managed to sort out another 16 books. So I have already surpassed my goal for the month. I am going to keep going though as I want to get rid of as many as I can especially since I seem to be on a roll! I also got started sorting through my clothes. I managed to gather a box for donation, and several got thrown away. I still have the hanging clothes to sort, but I'm quite pleased with what I've accomplished. 

Tomorrow I finally have a haircut! I haven't had my hair cut since before I went to daughter's. I have a fringe/bangs that desperately need to be cut. It's really bothering me as I have to keep swiping my hair out of my face to be able to half see anything. Oh, one pair of my glasses have come in so I will be picking them up too. Between the glasses and the haircut I'll finally be able to see again. 

99/366



Made me smile. Husband looking at the eclipse. 

100/366



Beautiful sunrise. 


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday Adventure and a Bit of a Book Declutter

It was a lovely sunny day today. We decided to go to the lakeshore and take a couple of small walks. Soon it will be tourist season and we usually stay away mostly then. It's almost coming into the end of free parking season at some places, so we avoid those too. I don't mind paying a little bit for an hours parking, but a lot of the places do a flat charge and I'm not paying that for an hour walk on the beach. It's then that we tend to use State Parks as we get a year pass for about $12 a year. It's a bargain in my opinion.  

They are starting to get the beaches ready for summer visitors. We saw that some of the snow fences have been taken down and the bulldozers are starting to even out the sand again. 





The clouds in the sky were beautiful



The Lighthouse could do with a coat or two of paint. 



That's my husband lazing against the steps. He made me smile today (98/366). At least he got out of the car today. The wind was quite keen but it was a little warmer. As it hit 50F/10C there were people out in shorts ha ha! 

We got back home mid-afternoon, as we usually try to do. Husband likes a bit of time to relax before he has to think about going to bed (usually at 8.30 or so as he gets up really early in the morning). I did some computer stuff in the afternoon and then got the urge to do some purging. 

DRUM ROLL - I sat down for about 30 minutes and sorted TWENTY books to go to the book pile!!!! I'm really pleased with that. I wanted to get 30 sorted this month and I'm already get rid of twenty - in one go!!!



Hope everyone had a good weekend. 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Lovely Saturday Walk

Was a pretty good day Friday. I didn't get too much done on the home front, but I got to video chat with daughter and Baby A. She is getting so big! She did start 'talking' to me. She is certainly getting loud now! It was really nice. It's only two weeks until we go and see her. I can't wait! Later, I messaged with my sister. It's always good to have a nice chat with her. We are planning my trip later in the summer. She is talking about us going away for a weekend again, maybe this time to Yarmouth. It's been a few years since I've been there. Last time was with Mum. When I was a teenager I worked there for a summer so it holds some good memories for me. 

This morning I got up early and went over just to my local park for a walk. It was lovely but cold and surprisingly pretty empy. I was bundled up well and sat and watched the beavers for a while. I saw six of them at once! It makes me wonder how many there actually are. I was planning on taking some macro photos for my #1day12pics project for the first Saturday of the month but ended up taking photos of the reflections in the water. I haven't sorted them yet but when I do I will share. It was lovely and sunny and the water had patterns in it and rippled as the birds flew and landed. Really nice. It caught my attention so that ended up being my project for the day. 

In the afternoon I did do a bit of sorting, but nothing on the list of what I wanted to get done. Lol. Oh well, at least another bit got sorted.  I 'discovered' that I have a lot of shredding to do so I might have to add that to the list too. I also sat out in the garden for a while as it warmed up a bit in the afternoon and was fairly nice. 

Beavers at the lake 



96/366



Those clouds made me smile yesterday

97/366



Early morning at the beavers' lodge

Tomorrow we're off for a drive and a walk. Weather shouldn't be too bad so it will be nice to get out. 

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Plodding Along

I had posted the other day the video of the Sandhill Crane and had mentioned what a loud, distinctive noise they made. While I was out walking at my local spot the other day there were three of them who had landed on the opposite side of the small lake. I thought I'd share so you can listen how loud they get. 

I've also sorted through some of my photos from the day and this is a close-up of the Sandhill Crane



Here's the noise video



So, what have I been up to? 

I did sort out some more of my craft room. There still seems lots of moving things about BUT I have a got some space on my desk!!! Hopefully next week I'll at least finish up with that and be able to do some crafting. I must make sure that I don't pile things on it that need to be sorted!

I have been out walking. It's been cold and mostly cloudy and there certainly doesn't seem to be a lot of Spring around, but I know it's coming. As I walk along I catch glimpses of buds on the bushes and trees, the geese on their nests and hear the mating calls of the birds around me. If only the weather would catch up!

I've been finding Things That Make Me Smile. 

94/366



There wasn't a sunrise yesterday, but just for a moment, the clouds parted and there was a hint of blue skies and sun before it all clouded over again!

95/366



This little muskrat made me smile. He climbed right up where I had seen the beaver the day before and started ripping off strips of bark to eat. 

Something else that made me smile - daughter sent me photos of the baby. She's getting so big! I can't wait to see her again. Definitely something to look forward to. 

How's your week going? Plans for the weekend? 


Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Ramblings and April Goals

I can't believe it's April already! Today (2nd) Baby A turns 3 months old! Can you believe it? Where has the time gone? She is growing so big! We are going to visit at the end of the month for a week and I can't wait to see her again and give her a big hug. I will be having lots of Nana time lol. 

Yesterday, April 1st, was bright and sunny. I walked with my friend. It was really quite nice and wonderful to hear the birds singing their hearts out. 

Phone Photo - Things That Make Me Smile 92/366




Today was totally different! I thought that I wasn't going to be able to take a walk as the forecast was for rain all day long, but when I woke up it had changed. It was dull and drizzly (at least for a while) but I managed to get a walk in. I was glad to as I saw a few beavers and a pair of coots (they only visit here in Spring). It wasn't a long walk as I had made a list of things to do with the thought that it was going to rain. 

Day 93/366




Made me smile to see a goose on top of the beaver lodge when I first arrived. I hope they don't try to make a nest there lol. 

I did manage to check off most things on my list. Meal planning and shopping is done. I got regular household things done, a couple of extras and worked on my craft room a little bit. There is some space on the table now. My next plan is to sort through everything else on the desk. 

I also worked on a list of goals for April. I'm hoping I'll make a good start on them. We are going to daughter's to visit at the end of the month so it will be a shorter month at home. 

These are the extras I want to work on this month : -

* declutter 30 books

* sort clothes - it's coming up to (hopefully) time to put away the winter things. I want to sort through and donate what I haven't worn this winter AND sort through things I don't think I'll want to wear this summer. 

* Clean up the garden. There's some bits and pieces that need to be cleaned up. I've been putting it off. 

* More magazine reading and decluttering. I've got rid of a lot, there are still more to go!

* Read at least 5 books

* Start a new cross stitch project. I keep meaning to. I keep putting it off. 

* Work on the downstairs bookshelves

* Wipe down the kitchen walls. 

Photography Projects

* Continue with my 366 Things That Make Me Smile project

* Do my #1day12pics project. I have to pick a theme

* Some creative photography. 

I'll have to do some time management to get all these done. I struggle with that, as I'm sure I've mentioned before lol. Some of this may continue on into next month. 

I'm going to add some budget things 

* Continue to meal plan. Look up some more frugal meal ideas to help the budget!

* Don't buy any more craft items! I'm going to allow myself to spend a little when I get to daughter's on craft items ONLY IF I work on some projects before I go. 

* Don't bring any new/used books into the house. Really struggle with this. 

* Continue to list on Ebay to maybe make a little money. I do have to make sure that, after a time, if things don't sell they get donated. I don't want the things to stay in the house. 

Phew. I think that's enough for now. Do you have goals for April? 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Weekend Catch-up

Wow, April already!

Catch-up from the weekend. Saturday was rainy. I didn't go out for a walk. We both had eye appointments, so got those done. My prescription had changed quite a bit but other than that all was okay. We both ordered new glasses. I'll actually be able to see again! I also 'treated' myself to a pair of prescription sunglasses. They will be nice to wear when I'm out walking. 

Sunday morning, Easter, we got up early and decided to take the (long) drive to Kensington Metro Park. It is such a cool place. We paid for a year pass which gets us into any metro park. This park is over 4500 acres. It has a golf course, swimming beaches, shooting range, disc golf, farm shop, trails (biking, walking, biking running). We usually go to the nature centre and do the walks around that area. There are no dogs allowed and no running or biking allowed. It's a great place to see birds and watch nature. The walk takes you around a large pond and through woods. It isn't a difficult walk, and we always see a variety of birds. If you hold out your hand with bird seed some birds will land on you. My husband really likes feeding the birds. 



The Heron Rookery (my day 91/366). I always love seeing the herons build their nests. It's so interesting how they fly off, collect a stick and then take it back to the nest passing it over to the other heron. 








There were two Ospreys on the nest when we first arrived. We went past on our way out and only one was there. They were mating earlier in the day, so maybe there will be babies!

There are also quite a few Sandhill Cranes wondering around. There are signs not to feed them as they are wild animals, but people do and they eat seed left on the ground, so they are not afraid of people at all. 



Tomorrow, I'm going to post goals for April. We'll see how well I do on them lol. 

One more photo, my 90/366. 



Having an eye appointment made me smile as I desperately need new glasses!

I hope everyone had a good Easter. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

Friday

I was out early for a walk this morning. I managed to find my way back to the parking area husband and I had visited yesterday. The parking places were a little confusing, but I managed to end up parking okay. I had a nice walk. It was quite quiet for a while. It was also quite chilly! I wanted to make the most of it as it's supposed to rain/snow for days. Perhaps the weather forecasters will be wrong. 

After the walk I went to the shops and did a small food shop. It really wasn't that busy, but I think it was still early. Later, in the afternoon, I 'chatted' with sister for a while. It was really nice. Thankfully, the clocks in England go forward this weekend and I'll be back to normal with the time we usually chat at. I've been really confused the last few weeks lol. 

Day 89/366



Making the most of the sunset view. 

A few more phone photos from my walk this morning















Do you have plans for the weekend? 

Tomorrow husband and I have midday eye appointments. I almost broke my glasses the other day so I thought I should probably update my prescription. It's supposed to rain so I don't think a walk is in the cards!


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Last Couple of Days

Yesterday was...okay. I felt a little down. I think staying in the house was getting the best of me. So, this morning, as the weather was forecast to be sunny but chilly, I decided to get up and go for a walk. I actually walked all the way to the place I usually go to. It was nice. I didn't walk around too much when I got there. I sat on one of the downed beaver trees and watched the beavers swim, swans trumpet and geese honking at one another. It was really quite relaxing. I didn't relish the walk back home, but I managed it and warmed up with a nice bath when I got back!

By afternoon I was feeling a little down again. Yesterday, late in the afternoon, husband had got a text from the car place telling us that the car was almost finished. We were expecting to hear something today. I was hoping. It's supposed to be nice-ish tomorrow and then rain until next Thursday!

Around 3.45pm husband got a text telling him the car was done and it was ready to be picked up! I HAVE MY CAR BACK!!! If I could insert a dancing emoji here I would.

It looks wonderful. You can't even tell there was any damage. They even cleaned it and vacuumed inside. I would definitely recommend the place for repairs. After the first couple days, they were really good about updating us on progress. They got us in a lot quicker than they said they could. I think that's because it's all going through insurance and we're not arguing about the cost lol.

I'm a little wary about parking my car where I did before. I know it was probably just a fluke thing, but still. Sigh. Today, on our way to the car place husband and I looked at another parking area that has access to the park. It's in a nearby neighbourhood and there are only about six parking spaces but it is rarely used. I think I'm going to try parking there - at least until they get the camera up in the parking area I used before. I worked out how to drop a pin there on my Google Maps so I can find my way back. We'll see how it goes in the morning!

87/366



A little sweet treat made me smile today. I am still eating the Christmas goodies lol

88/366



A view from my walk.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tuesday - Car Update and Decluttering

I'm really missing my car. I think I'm going crazy. I think I need to at least go for a walk around the neighbourhood if nothing else. I don't really like doing it as I don't want to talk to anyone lol. Anti-social or what? I like just wandering with my camera and not sure I want to do that around here either. Sigh. Husband did get an update on the car and (hopefully) it should be done by Friday. They are apparently just waiting for a bit (not a lot lol) of tinting for the back window. I can't wait for it to be done!

So what am I doing while in the house all day? As I haven't got to the shops this year I've been pulling things out of the freezer to make meals this week. That's not a bad thing. Hopefully I'll be able to use a few things I've been meaning to use. Housework? Can't say I've done a lot extra of that. Decluttering? Well...

I must admit that I don't find it easy to declutter. I've been trying to concentrate a bit more on the craft room as I really want the space to be able to create and right now I can't because things are cluttered up. As I sort through things, I feel that I'm just moving a lot of it around from one place to the next. However, this afternoon I did tackle some of the (too many) paper pads I have. I pulled out quite a few and added them to the donate pile. They aren't full pads, I have used some pages, but they no longer fit my taste. There aren't that many pages missing though, enough I know that they will be able to sell them. 

I've also been sorting through some more magazines. As I write this, I have a pile beside my chair that I am slowly sorting through. I have put quite a few in the recycle bin, a few in the donate box and three I added to Ebay yesterday and they sold almost right away! They have already left the house thanks to husband making a trip to the post office today. In a couple of cases, instead of keeping the whole magazine, I (shock, horror, gasp!) pulled out a pattern/picture I wanted to keep and got rid of the rest. 

I am beginning to realise that this decluttering journey is just that. It's not going to happen overnight. I can't just pull out a bunch of stuff and get rid of it. I can pull things out, easily get rid of a few and then have to revisit to pare things down a bit more. As long as I'm going forward the clutter will become less. 

I've also been working on one of my photography projects for the year which is to organise some of my older photos. As I'm not taking a whole lot of new ones I'm looking back through the old ones and cataloguing them. It's going to be a huge job. I did some while I was at daughter's and am still plugging away. 

As for what's making me smile? 

85/366




As I was sorting though things in my craft room I came across these cute little wood cut-outs. I have now put them up on the wall in my room. They make me smile. 

86/366



I had some nice cup a soup in my mug today. Mum got me this. It came with an Easter Egg one year. I always complained how hard it was to get a 'real' chocolate Easter Egg over here in America, so Mum bought me one and kept it until I came over in the summer. It's a good memory. 




Monday, March 25, 2024

Sunday Adventure

We didn't go too far yesterday as we had to use husband's work minivan. We did what we call The Loop. Our house to South Haven, along the lakeshore to St. Joseph and back to our house again. We made a couple of stops along the way and I had a nice but chilly walk along the beach at St. Jospeh. There were a few people about, mostly fishermen and women all bundled up. 

It was nice to get outside and see a bit of sunshine. I do wish it would warm up a little bit! Husband did actually walk with me for a little bit but after a while he went back to 'warm up the van' while I had a little more of a wander about. I like it when the beaches are empty, and they aren't out smoothing out the sand each evening.  As always it amazes me how much the beach can change. A couple of years ago the lake was really high and eroding lots of areas, now it is low again and the beach has expanded. 






Pretty soon this whole beach will be packed with people. 






You might recognise this lighthouse from last week as Michigan City and St Joseph as they are very alike. I can't find information to see whether they were designed by the same people. The one in Michigan City doesn't have the little light at the back (the photo before this one). I find it really interesting. 

My Phone Photo Things That Make Me Happy 84/366

This is my favourite phone photo of the day. 



Look at that wonderful view! If I hadn't told you that it was fairly chilly yesterday you'd think it was a deserted beach somewhere really warm lol. 

Hope everyone is having a good start to the week!