Saturday, December 29, 2012


My older son, Jeffrey is home for the holidays. He flew in from Cold Lake, Alberta on the 11th and will be here until a few days after New Year's. I'm a happy mom with both of my boys around.

Christmas Eve was spent with Frank's beautiful family. My sons drove out to be with us at Frank's sister's home. It was a lovely evening and the first time my younger son, Alex got together with any of Frank's relatives. Jeffrey had met Frank's sister and his oldest son once before when we were on a raccoon run! Thank you, Theresa and Evan for including my boys and me.

On Christmas Day, we had dinner with cousins closer to home. Amanda and Collin belong to my sons' dad, Don's side of the family, and they graciously include me every year despite Don and I having gone our separate (but friendly) ways years ago. Don and his girlfriend, Linda stopped by my place for a hurried gift exchange with our sons before heading out to the family dinner.

orange and cloves2
Patience is bitter, but it bears sweet fruit. ~ Turkish Proverb
The table was decorated in that festive way that our hosts do so well. Many of you commented on how lovely the Christmas tree was in the previous post. The first tree belongs to Frank and was decorated by his sons, this year. The tree at the end of the post belonged to Collin and Amanda a couple of years back.

Jeffrey Xmas Day 2012
Gratitude is the sweetest thing in a seeker's life- in all human life. If there is gratitude in your heart, then there will be tremendous sweetness in your eyes. ~ Sri Chinmoy
This is my son, Jeffrey. Since the Air Force got a hold of him, I just don't see him enough. I'm very grateful for the time I have with him this holiday season.

Alex Xmas Eve 2012
When you came my way. You brightened every day. With your sweet smile. ~ Sade
My boy, Alex is a tough (not really) metal rocker when he's not busy setting up venues for various performances. But when he needs to, he can clean up pretty well.

It's difficult to tell my two guys apart, isn't it? Ha!

Elliot iphone2
The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books (or iPhones).
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This is Elliot, aged nine and the oldest of three kidlets. He spent much of the evening engrossed in a game on Alex's phone.

Nothing but sweetness can remain when hearts are full of their own sweetness. ~ William Butler Yeats
The middle child is six-year-old Lily, aka Hello Kitty. She's every bit as sweet and bright as that smile reveals.

maeve clap
Sometimes I'm so sweet even I can't stand it. ~ Julie Andrews
This little two-year-old angel is Maeve. One only needs to watch her for a couple of moments to know that there's a lot going on behind those darling eyes.

Alex hat wine xmas 2012
Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words. ~ Plautus
The wine was flowing before, during and after the meal.

peppermint bark
Chocolate is not cheating! After a salty meal, you need a little bit of sweet. This is living, not cheating. 
 ~ Ali Landry
Dinner was delicious as it always is, and if there was an ounce of room left in our bellies, it was filled with several kinds of amazing desserts.

alex guitar 5
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. ~ John Keats
After dinner, my son played our host's guitar and I couldn't help but notice the tree lights reflecting in its shiny surface.

It was a wonderful evening with music and dance (Highland dancing by Lily and a fine imitation by baby Maeve), laughter and warmth. It sure is nice to be with little ones during the holidays. And especially nice to be with family - my sons - and my two extended families through Frank and Don.

Sweet, indeed.

I wish all my dear blogging friends a wonderful, safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Happy Kwanzachristmakah Everyone!

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. 
~ Larry Wilde

window reflection
You know you're getting older when Santa starts looking younger. ~ Robert Paul

It looks like Santa Paws was here.

heron lights
Christmas at my house is always at least six or seven times more pleasant than anywhere else. We start drinking early. And while everyone else is seeing only one Santa Claus, we'll be seeing six or seven. 
~ W.C. Fields

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.
~ Bernard Manning

through car window2
Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns? Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music. ~ Tom Sims

I bought my brother some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the Gift Wrap department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping. 
~ Stephen Wright

The one thing women don't want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband. 
~ Joan Rivers

Wishing you all the very best of the holiday season however you may celebrate it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fine Teeth & Posts of the Week

Just a few photos today since I have a larger than usual load of Posts of the Week. This is mostly because I'm a couple of POTW posts behind again but these are all from December and hopefully, you can refer back to them if the busy schedule of the season doesn't allow you the time to read them for now.

She laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth.
~ Benjamin Franklin

So who do you think has a finer, toothy smile?

This big guy?

Or this little girl?

two cuties
I'd say the adorable wee human, seen with her equally lovely sister wins - hands down.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.



Solomon the Milkman
by Jim
at Suldog

Puddles of Sunlight
by Betty
at Bossy Betty

Where I Reclaim and Reinvent the Holidays So No One Gets Hurt
by Cedar
at Cedarflame

That's the Spirit
by Kat
at Seeking Sanity


A Thing of Beauty
by TexWisGirl
at The Run*A*Round Ranch Report

The Dark Days are Murder
by Gillian
at PS Whimsy - Behind the Brush

Love, Magic and Poetry
by Amy
at She Writes


The Lost Art of Tree Hugging
by Fiona
at Lady Fi

Fox on the Ice
by Keith
at HoldingMoments

Unexpected Beauty
by Ruth
at Ruth's Photo Blog


Middle C is the Key
by Murr
at Murrmurrs


Designing Squirrels
by Dianne
at Do You See What I See?


by Sandy
at Writing in Faith

An Open Letter to America
by Frank
at Baron It All

What a Teacher Does
by Brian
at Waystationone

Lighting Candles
by DJan
at DJan-ity

Fighting Back With Kindness (Video)
by Gary
at Follow Your Bliss

What to Say About Sandy Hook
by Crabby
at Cranky Fitness

Lambs to the Slaughter
by DS
at Third Storey Window 


Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Little Angels and Big Heroes

Saturday was the last night of Hanukkah. 

It's meant to be a joyous occasion, and it is but I couldn't help but think of those twenty precious children as I lit the candles, knowing that for their families and those of their educators, there would be no joy this holiday season.

I watched as the candles burned brightly, and my heart ached knowing that too many young, beautiful flames had been snuffed out decades too soon.

39 drip
What else is there to say? 

How about..

Obama Connecticut School Shooting
Please define "meaningful action" in a way that gives your nation hope that this may never happen again - that you may never need to wipe another tear for the senseless death of a child - for twenty children. 

30 red white blue
I hope you will be the first leader of your country to make this difference. 

Thank you for giving your own lives to protect the innocents in your charge. You, along with your fallen co-workers are true heroes.

Please visit one of our regular bloggers, Sandy Carlson to read a fine tribute to Dawn Hochsprung, Her daughter was one of her students a few years back. 

I wish the grieving families strength to get through this horrible time. 

Rest in peace, beautiful people. 

Sleep tight, little angels.

Gone too soon.

Little Angels and Courageous School Staff

Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Avielle Richman, Jessica Rekos, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt

 Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mystery Photos

I have a number of objects in the images below which might pose a bit of a mystery as to what they are. I can and will give you answers for all but one of them because I don't know what that one is, myself. I'm hoping one of you can tell me.

Have a look at the images and see how many you can figure out before reading the answers below each picture. Some will require another photo or two to clarify.

Mystery Circles

mystery circles
Another one in case it helps.

mystery circles2

Answer: If you notice the outer curve in each photo, that might give you a hint. It's the bottom of a pot in which I'm about to cook spaghetti. It's filled with water and a few drops of oil to keep the pasta from sticking. The oil formed these circles.

Unhappy Cold Face

sad face
Answer: This one is pretty obvious but I thought it was kind of cute - an unhappy scoop of cherry ice cream. The fruit and an inadvertent smudge from the chocolate cake icing give it the appearance of two eyes and a frown.

Bombs Away

black ball
When I snapped this shot, I was struck by how much this item looked like a tiny bomb. It's smaller than a green pea and grows in clusters. This one just happened to have been the last one standing in its group.

Answer: Here's what they look like on an otherwise bare tree. A treat for the birds and squirrels.

One of the Simpsons?

catching light
Answer: It was the late-day sunlight peeking through a discarded paper towel on the patio table outside. I thought the lit part looked like a cross between Marge and Homer Simpson.

Wild Lace

Any idea?

wild cucumber tendril
Here's a clue. This tendril with those two little seeds was once part of it when it had seen better days.

wild cucumber
Answer: It was a decaying wild cucumber pod as seen here at its prime. The decomposing pod was resting in a rain puddle with the light hitting it in such a was that I could resist snapping it with the macro lens.

A Tangled Mess

swirly mess
Frank pointed this one out to me. That should give you a good clue right there.

Answer: It's a number of salmon skeletons caught upon one another in a swirly part of the creek.

True Mystery

what is it
This is the one that has me stumped. It's located in a park near where we've been house hunting. If you pull on those chains, the upper portion begins to slide down the pole, but it creates quite a bit of tension. I'm thinking it's some kind of exercise equipment but there's another identical one just a few feet away and then nothing else remotely resembling fitness stations anywhere else in the park. Am I way off? Probably. I'd love to hear your best guesses - educated or otherwise.

How About That - An Answer: Well things have a funny way of resolving, sometimes. While I was putting this post together, I wandered over to Google with the term "Mystery Photos" just to see what other people might have posted with that same title.

Imagine my surprise when I landed on this page  and saw that number 11 appeared to be the same mystery object. It's called a Disc Golf Goal. Further Google and YouTube surfing led me to an interesting video which shows how it's used. Clearly a fun frisbee game for all seasons.

I might be the only one on the face of the planet who didn't know that. Just humour me and tell me that I'm not alone, please. Nah, I'm kidding. If you did know what it was, I'd love to hear it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fine Feathered Friends

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” 
~ Robert Lynd

Whether on the wing or at rest, birds are lovely to watch and fun to photograph. Since I've been doing just that the past several weeks, I'd like to share a few of those images below.

cardinal with spindleberries
A while back, when I posted some pictures of spindle berries, my fine bloggie pal Suldog asked me if they were edible. I have to admit to not knowing that for sure at the time, though I suspected they were not, as the "berry" part is really more like a seed. I looked it up when responding to him and learned that they are edible for birds but rather poisonous for humans. Being one of the feathered variety, this Cardinal was checking them out a few days later.

geese in a row
Canada geese - relaxing, preening and doing a fair bit of pooping atop the dam of our local pond.

mockingbird on tree
One of my favourite feathered friends is the Northern Mockingbird. He he is perched at the top of a dead tree by the pond. I'm also quite fond of that tree, and have posted images of it frequently.

Here's a closer look at this sweetie. It's not the best exposure or even his best side but I'm always happy to see and share him.

Ms Mallard
Ms. Mallard is showing off her lovely colours in the late day sunshine.

downy landing
This little Downy Woodpecker was flitting about while I was out walking. It's not a great shot but after several attempts, I finally managed to capture it flying between the branches of this pine tree.

hawk through windshield
Much to my surprise, I snapped the photo of this hawk through the car windshield while Frank was driving.

ducks landing
Two ducks and a gull - the subjects of this photo are in shadow, but I still loved the colours in the trees and the reflection in the creek.

young gull
Over that same creek, you can see gulls flying around at most any time of day. This is a young one, who hasn't acquired his bright, white plumage yet.

sparrow cutie2
This sweet, little sparrow almost faded into the similar colouring of the foliage. If you look closely, you can see a bit of red on his beak from nibbling hawthorn berries.

young heron4 takeoff
Last, but never least, the Great Blue Heron, after he had had enough of my incessant picture snapping. Sorry bud!

More photos in a few days.