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Monday, December 30, 2013

Snow, Beautiful Snow!

 
This morning I headed out to see my dad in rehab. Yes, he's still there...17 days so far and still unable to go home. He's recovering from his broken hip, but ,oh so slowly! Anyway, when I got in the car, look what I saw on the windshield...SNOW...it finally snowed.
 
When I left dad I quickly walked through a small garden near the rehab center. The garden is called the Psalm 31 Garden. It's a pretty little garden with a small waterfall and a few benches and tables to sit and relax. Today was a little too cold for that.

A dusting of snow made the pansies bow their heads, almost like they were praying.
 

 
It trapped leaves,
 

filled acorn shells,
 
 
and covered the benches.

 
It wasn't a lot, but it was enough to make my day.
I wonder if we'll be getting any more.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas


Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

From My House To Yours

 
 
I'm back for a short visit and to post a few more images from Christmas at my house.
 

Christmas cards are arriving and, of course, a few sweets are being eaten.
The decorating is finished with lots of Christmas trees and snowmen.


I love the shine and shimmer of vintage ornaments scattered around.
 
 
So many of my ornaments have special meanings, like this one. My daughter and her family have a tradition of bringing us Christmas ornaments when they travel.


I finally have all the presents wrapped and under the tree.


It's been a rough December with my dad's surgery and rehabilitation, but we're getting through this and looking forward to the new year. We've been grabbing every little bit of joy and light we can. Speaking of lights, this string of lights was in a tree skirt that I made for our first Christmas tree way back in the 70's. I can't believe they still work!!
 
I hope your Christmas is filled with joy and peace.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Quick Hello

 
Christmas is getting closer and closer! My decorations are up and I'm through shopping, but I haven't begun to get those presents wrapped! Speaking of decorations...the ornament above was on our very first Christmas tree way back in 1972. I think that qualifies it to be a true antique!  The glitter is even beginning to tarnish! I bought two boxes of ornaments at Sears that year. Both sets included six different colors; one set with candles and one with a swirly design. The candles were my favorite. I always get a little nostalgic when I add them to the tree.
 
Okay, the picture and the above paragraph really has nothing to do with what I was going to post about. I just thought there ought to be a picture and then thought there ought to be an explanation.
 
Now, to the real reason I'm posting. Life has once again hit our family pretty hard. This has just not been our year and I, for one, will be so glad when 2013 is over. We not superstitious about that 13 thing, but after this year, I'm leaning more toward avoiding the number 13. On Friday, which was Friday the 13th of 2013, my dad fell and broke his hip. He had a hip replacement later that night. The surgery went fine, but I'm afraid there's going to be some really rough weeks ahead. He's 84 and has Alzheimer's, which does complicate things. He's very confused and pretty down, so my mother, my sister, and I have been staying with him round the clock.
 
I just wanted you to know why I've been absent from flickr groups, classes, and reading blogs. I don't know when I'll get back in the grove. I'm sure things will settle down in a few days and we'll get into a better routine. Until then, I'll miss you! 
 
Have a great week!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Made Simple

Last week was a busy week as I tried to get my house decorated. I decided to put up less decorations...simplify...no stressing. It worked, everything is dressed in holiday spirit and I'm enjoying the season.
 
I've been keeping up with Picture The Holidays with Big Picture Classes. I just haven't been keeping up with posting them here, so now I have to play catch up!

Sometimes we become so caught up in the commercial aspect, in the hustle and bustle, and trying to have the perfect holiday that we overstress ourselves and take the joy right out of Christmas. It only took a visit to see my grandson, Aaron, to remind me of that. He was showing me his room decorated for Christmas when I spotted this little craft he had made at Sunday School. A very simple manger made out of a brown lunch sack holding Baby Jesus. It hit me so hard, that I've been over thinking and over working the holidays. I need to step back and rethink this holiday thing. Find a simpler and more holy way to celebrate Christmas.
 
 
 
I'm celebrating by being more aware of nature. It's so cold we sometimes rush to get in the warmth of our homes and miss the delights of winter. I found I could enjoy winter through glass and still stay warm.
 
 
 
I'm celebrating with each ornament I hang on the tree. This year I put on less ornaments which gave me time to go hold each one and relive the memories. Stars are a big part of holiday decorations. I have several; sparkly, dazzling, and shiny. This simple homespun one brings simplicity back to Christmas.

 
 
Mr. H has his own special ornaments like cute little tools and this tiny replica of our 1940 Ford truck, Old Red.
 


I can't celebrate without Santa. Even though I try to keep the Birth of Christ foremost in my thoughts, I also enjoy having some Santas around.

 
 
My Christmas decorations are very colorful. I love the nostalgic look of Christmas trees with multi-colored lights. My tree is full of them, probably about 1,000 bulbs twined among the branches. I was surprised how much I liked this bowl of vintage ornaments in black and white. I love the way it brings out all the sparkle.


I'm glad I decided to simplify my decorations this year. l have more time to enjoy the moments of Christmas. I hope you're enjoying this holiday season as well!

Don't forget to breathe!!

Big Picture Classes

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Walk In The Ice

I have thoroughly enjoying looking at all the snow pictures on FB, blogs, and flickr. They are gorgeous! My daughter who lives three hours away has about 6" in her yard. I'm a little envious, Okay, I'm a lot envious! It is white here, it could be mistaken as snow, but it's not...it's sleet! There were a few snowflakes that fell, but they were few and tiny and you had to look really hard to see them.
 
 
Ice is almost as pretty as snow until you look at the trees. Sleet doesn't stick to trees very well!  Isn't this quite a contrast...fall leaves still on the trees and ice on the ground.
 
 
Another sign of fall lingering.
 
 
After capturing the big picture, I decided to zoom in for a closer look.
 
 
 
Look at the size of the ice around these little blades of grass. This area was under the corner of the house where it was dripping off the roof.
 
 
A little lichen and ice on a rotten limb that fell from one of our trees.

 
Icicles hanging in front of the headlight on my SUV creates a pretty cool abstract.
 

Ice is not what you want for winter precipitation, but when it falls as sleet it's not quite as bad. Sleet doesn't stick to power lines and trees, so the power usually stays on. Ours was off for about three hours, but we have a backup gas heater and had plenty of food. The roads did become quite slick, but we didn't have anywhere to go. We were inside safe and warm watching it turn white.  When the sun came out for a little while today, I couldn't resist bundling up and walking around in the crunchy ice.
 
I'm praying that wherever you are, you're safe and warm.
 
Linking with Helen's Weekend Walk at A Flash Of Inspiration.
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Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Here!

December has arrived with it's reds and greens, hustle and bustle, good food, and precious memories.  Absolutely my favorite time of the year!  I'm taking Picture The Holidays with Tracey Clark at Big Picture Classes, where we find an image to go with her prompts. It's delightful to spend a few minutes each taking searching for the right photo and then seeing what others have shared. I'd like to share this little bit of my December with you. Just a few small things that bring joy to my heart. 
 
 
The red veins and the green vine put me in the Christmas mood.
 


I look at things different around Christmas.
I like to find nature's beauty which brings
joy, and contentment to my life.
 
"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
~Norman Vincent Peale
 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

 
 
I can't begin to list the things I'm thankful for. If I did this post would go on and on!
So, I'll keep my list short -
 
God's love
Jerry
children and their spouses
grandchildren
family
friends
health
country
church
God's creation
 
We are so blessed as a family!
 
I hope you and your family all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Little Bit Of Ice

A very cold artic blast of air hit our state this week. We'll have below normal temperatures for Thanksgiving. Last year it was in the 70's, this year...highs in the 40's. Big difference! We seemed to have dodged the bullet in terms of weather. We only got the cold air and little bit of freezing rain and sleet. I know some of you have had a rough time with heavy snow and ice. When I saw the icicles beginning to form on the power lines and trees, I knew it was time to brave the cold and get some pictures. Good thing I went right on out, it didn't last long.
 
 
My camellia's were quite pretty covered with shiny drops of ice and rain. They are such hardy bushes and love to bloom in the colder weather. It's kind of like the last hurrah of the season.

 
The wind blowing  causing the ice on the leaves and branches to crackle and pop. It almost sounded like music to me.
 
 
 



 
You know I love cold weather. Colder weather lets me add an extra quilt to our bed and wear my winter robe and fuzzy slippers. Not only do I enjoy the cold weather, I have the holidays with family to look forward to. Wherever you are, I hope you're safe and warm today!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Walking in The Woods Again


I've missed walking in my woods. During the summer months it's pretty miserable out there with the swarms of mosquitoes and the many ticks.  We also have a lot of copperheads around here that hide so well in the leaves. I pretty much stay our of the woods during the summer and early fall months. Now that it has turned cold, I couldn't wait to take a walk and see what I could discover in my woods.

 
There's plenty of rotten wood where a variety of lichen grows.
 

 
I discovered this lichen growing on a leaf. I don't think I've every seen lichen on a leave before.
 
 
I never know what I'll find along the creek bank. This time it was leaves that were once under water and are now covered in sand.

 
It's always interesting to look for shadows in the sand.

 
Seed pods are my favorite thing to look for and photograph.

 
I'm grateful today for the woods I can wander in, for the beauty of nature I can  capture and for colder weather so I can trek through those beautiful woods.
 
 
Linked with Helen's Weekend Walk at A Flash Of Inspiration.
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Spray Rig

No photo excursions again this week. Mr. H's surgery went well and he's recuperating nicely. Actually, he's doing much better than we thought, but I'm still not venturing far from home. We get out and walk each day, but I'm more concerned with him falling than shooting pictures. So, here I go again, looking for something close to home, but something that interests me. Something different than fall leaves or mushrooms. As I walked across my parents back yard, I saw my dad's old spray rig sitting neglected along the property line.
 

My dad was a painter. He painted many a house inside and out. He was also know to balance on scaffolding and paint water towers, long before safety ropes were mandatory. When he spray painted structures he would hook up his rig and head out.
 
 
There wasn't a lot of towing regulations back then, but at least he had a safety chain. Which leads to a story. In the late 50's and early 60's we moved several times.  We lived in a mobile home or trailer as we called it, so it was easy to pick up and move. Just unhook the electrical, water, and sewer, pack a few breakables, tape the drawers and doors shut, and we were ready to go. Dad lead our little procession driving a sawed-off fire engine that pulled the trailer. Mom drove the station wagon and pulled the spray rig. On this particular day as we were traveling down the highway, the spray rig came loose (maybe that was before the safety chain!). It went off the road and into a deep ditch.  Knowing that we couldn't get it out mom began chasing down dad. Evidently dad had the petal to the metal, because we went miles before we caught up with him and had him pull over. Of course, then we had to backtrack to get the rig. It could have been very serious, but we laugh about it now. How mom had to speed to catch dad pulling a house trailer.
 
 
 
Back to the spray rig and all it's rusty parts. There are pulleys and belts that sent the motor spinning...
 
 
building up pressure to spray the paint. I know it looks like I took this pressure gauge sideways, but I didn't that's the way it is on the tank.


I wonder if my mom knew dad's spray rig had a devil on it. She probably thought it was possessed when it came undone and went flying off the road!

 

 
My dad has always believed a little bit of electrical tape could fix anything. Note the splatters of paint on the tape. 

 
Paint is splattered over everything including the brake lights.
 
 
Dad wasn't one to spend useless money. I guess you could say he recycled before recycling was cool. When he build the spray rig he used what he had on hand or found in junk yards. Notice the brake lights...one square...one round. But, hey, they did the job and were probably free! 

 
 
I found lots of grunge, rust and textures.

 

 

 
Dad retired many years ago, and the spray rig has mostly just sat in this spot. Only brought out a few times to paint something around the house. It's deteriorating and will probably be taken apart soon, so I wanted to capture a few photos of it.
 
Linked with Helen's Weekend Walk at A Flash Of Inspiration
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