Search This Blog

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Post Christmas Wishes

I know, I know... Post Christmas Wishes? What the heck are those? Well, I kind of figured that the most of you were busy yesterday with family. Oh, and playing with your new gadgets and gizmos. Who wants to check out this blog when you have new toys?!?

Actually, I figured that most of you would be knee deep in family stuff. I realize my kids are easy compared to real kids. The Guy walked them in the morning, then we did a mid-day walk before I dove into getting dinner ready.

Meanwhile you with actual little ones are putting things together, finding batteries for such toys, then stepping on toys, nursing hurt feet and feelings due to stepping on toys, and if you have more than one kid, breaking up fights about toys. I know the cycle. And I'm happy it's your cycle and not mine.

See, these guys just needed a walk. Well, a couple of walk but that was it.

Then you had to feed your horde. Mine just require a scoop or two of food and some affection. So I could focus on feeding just the two of us. And it was oh so good.

So, here it is, the 26th and I'm hoping that all of you had a wonderful Christmas. May you be surrounded by those you love and loved in kind. May the family spats been kept to a minimum, or at least been entertaining enough to be turned into a hilarious Christmas tale of family woe. Just remember, someone out there may write a best seller based on your family dysfunction. That means there's always hope that maybe one of the kids will be able to pay for their own therapy.

And lastly, may you have had a white Christmas. We sure didn't. But it was sunny and there wasn't a pond in our foot yard like last year. It's all about the little blessings.

Yes, that's a hand knit star on my tree. Shush it.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wobbling Towards the Light

I hope you all celebrated the Solstice with a sunbeam to lay in,

Not that we did today. Today it rained. That's right. Rained. Relentlessly. We are going to have another Christmas with a pond in the front yard. But, just like the dark, the rain is needed. As is snow, why can't I have snow?!? Ahhh, perhaps next week. So, today as the earth wobbles on it's axis and starts the long slow tilt back towards the sun with it's northern hemisphere I hope you, like Emmitt there on Sunday, found a touch of warm light to bask in. That't the true meaning of Christmas if you ask me.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bad Friend

I just realized I missed a big event in a friends life today. Not only have I rarely been putting up my blog posts but I've rarely been reading them and I looked right over one that happened a month ago. My friend lost one oh her beloved animals. I know that feeling, that hole in ones life. Friends help fill that void and I fear I didn't. I was completely oblivious to the loss.

For those of you who may have met Rio Catalina, or just know her through my association and references to Betsy's blog, I thought I'd share the news here today of her passing to any who had not been aware of it. (Click here for Betsy's Blog post) She was a wonderful girl. Big, lovable, and a comfort to be around.

I'm so sorry Betsy. For the pain of making such a decision, to the heartbreak of following through, and for that constant hole you feel for so long after saying goodbye to one of our loved ones, no matter who or what they are.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Walking in the Woods

It's been a busy week here.

Between walk in the rain and sun, I've gotten a couple things done.

Including the guys Christmas present.

He wanted a hat. So meet the hat. It's a wonderful Superfine Alpaca, Donegal, and Linen blend. Ooh so soft and I hope, oh so warm. He's kind of wearing it funny there, I'm going to make hime pose with it again soon and wrap up the writing down of it and post a pattern for those interested in such things.

Today it was almost the perfect temperature for walking in the woods.

But as you can see from some of the earlier pics from the week, not so much.

Which Mr. Fluffy Butt wasn't so crazy about, as you can see. He hates the rain, even before it made him smell like skunk again.

the beasties just got their baths again today.

Cat and all three dogs all smelling wonderfully fresh. Yay! I was loving trying to get pictures of these delicate trees and their drops of water hanging from them.

I couldn't tell until I went around if this was just a little leaf jam or something more purposeful in this stream.

Looks like the beginning of a beaver dam with leaves piling up. He has a good pond starting to form. As there is a neighborhood just through those trees I'm assuming this will be cleared out and the beaver trapped soon.

People never like when nature runs wild on them... Just as Ted Stevens.

Though, to be honest this isn't truly a very wild spot. Just another little "nature preserve" on the edge of town surrounded by neighborhoods.

I thought this tree might be porcupine damage with what looked like shaved off bark.

There was a couple of downed trees in the area with the look.

Then I fond this one, still standing and apparently healthy and fine. Just a different kind of tree I guess.

I like how cloudy days make some colors pop, while sunlight plays differently with other colors.

Though this was just a wet day with rain coming down regularly in intervals through out it.

Just as we were getting back to the car to head to the grocery store for dinner makings, the skies darkened further to usher in a new session of rain.

But it was still a wonderful walk and it led to a delicious dinner like this. Turkey Pot Pie! Gotta use up those left overs after all. I let it stay in for a few minutes to long. It happens.

It was still delicious.

The following day we had home grilled burgers, soycatash and beet salad. Mmhm.

It too was damp day and after our walks I snuggled at home with the kids and introduced Midge to her first round of cat nip.

Oh, and the fireplace. I think stoner kitty likes fire. Hide the matches!

I had actually done two runs into to town starting with my cars oil change at 700 in the morning and unfortunately spotted a cat tree when I was at petsmart with the dogs that was a reasonable price. I was irritated as my little Kia Soul can't hold three dogs and the tree so I left it and made a comment to The Guy about it.

He got it on his way home. I think she appreciates it. What do you think? You like that smile? She was actually yawning when I got the shot. I can't wait to see her pounce on one of the dogs from the top of it. You know it's going to happen.

Friday was Ada's bridge lighting. I snapped this after work on Saturday. For some reason I can't remember any such display last year though I worked right down the street from it last year too. Hmmm.

Okay, have to go and deal with tonights dinner and call my Mom as she doesn't bother to read the blog... Some people's parents.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Were You Thankful?

Because it seems that so much of Thanksgiving has been lost to Christmas "Season" as time moves on. Not just the Black Friday crap that I have always found disgusting, but all of it. It feels that Thanksgiving itself has been lost.

I spent the day in the kitchen for just the two of us. Well, to be honest I spent a couple days in the kitchen. The cranberry relish and a couple of other items such as stuffing were started on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday.

And then there were the dinners prior to Thanksgiving. Such as the Mahi Mahi burgers with a butternut squash sauté and fresh basil and pickled beats. Told you Stephanie, I would appreciate your pickled beats. Just saying, in case you have left over. As for Mahi Mahi burgers, I finally caved and went to the new Trader Joes they opened here in Grand Rapids after I got my car from the body shop this last week. I can say, I will probably go back, just for their very nice produce. And hey, we'll throw it on my "thankful for" list. Because that was a pretty good dinner.

And my favorite way to consume brussel sprouts. Bubble and Squeak! Just ask the guy, bacon grease makes even brussel sprouts edible. I don't need to go that far as I actually like them, but hey, add bacon grease to the list to, because pigs are magic.

And there was also a pie, that I almost forgot about. Don't ask, I thought I'd have time to sit down and spin for a bit. I know, so silly. I forgot to take a picture of the turkey and stuffing because I was to busy stiffing it in my face, and mashed potatoes, well, they just aren't exciting enough to take pictures of. Sorry.

But I did make another batch of cinnamon rolls the weekend before... As usual, they were delicious. Nope, can't send you any, for they are gone. They are a particular favorite of The Guys.

So, let's get back to my Thanksgiving gripe. Not that Christmas isn't wonderful; in its way, but can we not let Christmas stay in it's own little block? Like let's say December. Outside of that month, I really am not interested in hearing anything about it. That's not really true, I would be if it was about the true message of Christmas, but it's not. Let's be honest, Verizon sums up the shear mass consumerism that has eaten up the holidays with their "Thanksgetting" ad campaign. Because that's where we are guys. We wonder whats wrong with our country? It's not Donald Trump, it's that we have a whole section of our country that buy into his rhetoric, and it's the same mindset that looks at these ad campaigns and isn't disgusted by it, but rather excited and waiting in lines on the eve of what should be time spent with those we love to get the best deal on a new television.

All in all, I guess I'm worried. I look around me and I see problem after problem and I'm not seeing a way to fix them. And I'm really not seeing any candidate that I think is truly in touch with the fact we have some real troubles rising up, because they're all more interested in the power struggle and the slogans, and the big money they get to play in while the rest of us see less and less of that money. They don't want to listen to the average citizen, yet they interrupt my time with commercials on the television, on the radio, on the sides of public transit, and then they have a machine or some brainwashed disciple call me at my home because political parties and their affiliates don't have to adhere to the no-call list. Tell you what, the first candidate that backs getting that changed and actually follows through with that campaign promise will  get my vote for re-ellection. Until then, leave me the hell alone on my time unless I tune-in to one of your shams of debates.

Whew, got that off my chest. Okay, enough political talk. As you can see, I'm not going to say who I think will be the best candidate, but you can probably tell who I wouldn't back...

I don't think either of these girls is who I hit. We think these are our twins from last year and we still see them around regularly.

So, I need to wrap this up and get dinner going for tonight. I don't have much else to say so it's going to be mostly pictures. Lot's of pictures. I was playing with the cameras and realized I hadn't posted some shots I got quite some time ago. So, you'll see some green grass and fall colors again, before you'll see snow as I'm going to post them in the order I took them. Oh wait, you'll see green grass again because guess what, what little snow we got last week, is gone. Yay for what they call winter in Michigan.

So, these are the neighbors sheep just to the west of us. I have a funny story about that little white fence you see them in there. A week or so after I got these pictures, I noticed that one of the sheep was stuck in that fence and the rest of them had gotten out. I noticed it was wound pretty tight and I was worried it was in danger of strangulation so I went out the back gate to see if I could get it out before walking over to let them know their sheep were out. The stuck ewe got upset as I got closer (don't worry, I didn't let the boys come out with me), and started to toss about. I stepped on the fence near her head to hold her down, then reached down to grnabthe fence around her head. Surprise! It's an electric fence. I got a good little jolt as my feet were stuck in tennis shoes that were soaked by the morning dew. I did the little dance and hop and when my hands released I had a good laugh. More than anything I was just glad that I hadn't wet myself. As I was walking to the sheep it had dawned on me that being a bit chilly, and now with cold wet feet, I kind of had to pee. So, I gave up on the solo rescue, peed in the trees on the back of the lot quick and walked over to the neighbors to let him know that his sheep were out and one was stuck. In the end, the ewe was fine and they were all rounded up.

Maples! This was as good as our fall color got in our yard.

The snow colder weather has increased our bird feeders traffic. Many of my bird shots aren't great but I like the action in them.

Like this one with the purple finch coming in for a landing and the wing missing a body.

And Sullivan and Tucker still love the snow.

The girls, not so much.

This one would love to go out to the bird feeder for a snack. Can you tell?

And these old bones are appreciating all the heated beds we have around.

Couch buddies!

This is for youJan. I know how much you love your chickadees.

Did you know,

That the best water is sucked out from between cat's toes? Who knew? And no, she doesn't clean up that mess she makes, but then neither do her brothers.

Sunrise last Wednesday as I was heading out for the morning walk with the boys.

Morning traffic?

Most of our snow was gone by Thanksgiving.

Morning Sunshine! Wait, aren't you supposed to be waking us up?

Wednesdays sunset as we're were planting our trees that finally came. You know, the ones The Guy ordered in April? Yeah, those. Fingers crossed they take.

Nothing is as blue as crisp winter morning sky.

I have been trying for over a year to get a snap of one of these guys. This is the best so far. Pileated Woodpecker anyone?

I love listening to them laugh in the woods, and their flight is somewhat humorous to watch too.

Yep, it was chilly, can you tell?

Even now you can find green if you look for it. Left over leaves, and moss that greens up overtime moisture hits the ground, regardless of the temperatures.

And I find the trees beautiful regardless of their foliage or absence of it, especially with morning or evening sun on them.


Not shroom season, so the fungi are a bit sad and droopy here.

Last summers nest.

I take a lot of pictures of things on the ground as I spend a lot of time looking at my feet so I don't trip up.

When I first saw this, I thought to myself, "Look, the tree wet itself!" And had a little giggle about it. Then I thought I'd share but the dark stain isn't as visible here under the fork in the tree as it was in person. I'm assuming that there was snow in the crook there that melted and stained the bark until it dries out.

When we get home the boys always have to sleep off their fun. And a cat nap requires a cat, right?

I like this one in black and white too, though it looks a bit forlorn.

This is another one that I've been trying to get some shots of. Today I got a bit of luck, but I'll keep trying. Jay's I right up there on my list of favorite birds with ravens. Let's face it, I like the corvids.

This was actually a separate bird than the first.

Heading out today to go on a walk with the boys.

We tried a new part of the North Country Trail out of Yankee Springs.

Newer fallen log.

Older almost gone fallen log.

I noticed something in the upper right corner in this shot after I took it.

Another nest from last summer.

We got to the first of the lakes which is a couple miles in before turning around.

Somebody's stash!

I always love seeing the spiral of a trees wood when the logs have decayed enough for the bark to peal away.

See? Oh, and Emmitt's feet. They always mess up the pictures...

Can't you tell? Actually, I think this is my favorite shot of the day.

And we found this as we were walking out, which I find odd that we didn't see it on the way in. Wonder if it fell from a tree where it was eaten. Great Horned Owls like snake, and it;s head was removed which is an owl habit.

An old stump I thought looked neat. Okay Betsy, the next few are for you, there all about the fungi and lichens.

I also really like this shot too.

And all those borns, so I found you all a splash of color.

Because these guys get tired of posing.

Sleep it off E-Man, just not on my pillows you hairy beast.

Okay, some knitting really quick. Made myself a pair of hand warmers, and this week I fixed the goofy thumb issue. so they're about perfect now.

And threw myself on some brainless knitting yesterday. These are bot out of yarns I spun. Yay!

I think that's about all I can fit into one post. I need to get moving on dinner, suns going down and the tummy is grumbling. See you all next month.