Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


We set up the Christmas village today.

These little additions from Lizzy have to be some of my favorite parts.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Tonight I had my annual gift exchange/Christmas party with some friends.
After I started going to cyberschool, I don't really see or talk to them very much.
We'll talk on Facebook sometimes.
But only if I start the conversation.
But I had a really great gift from one person who regularly makes an effort to keep in touch.
She gave me a few bird-related items, but the best part was a simple fleece blanket.
One of those ones with two layers where you tie the knots around the edge.
She's not much of one for sewing or crafting or that sort of thing, but she wanted to make me something.
Because I always make things for her for her birthday and Christmas and whatnot.
It was one of the sweetest gifts I've ever received.

I love it dearly.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Just having some fun with the Christmas tree.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


We had a few inches of snow on the ground when we woke up this morning.
Gretchen was very excited, and had lots of fun running around and eating snow.

This drain seemed pretty happy, too.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


It appears...

that a white Christmas may be on the horizon.
(Please excuse the poor photo)

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I love the way the lights twinkle.
We don't have blinking lights, but every time you move, a light may become hidden from sight and another may come into view.
So they twinkle.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


We set up the Christmas tree today. =)

This year's theme is red and teal.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


My mom bought this locket for me for my thirteenth birthday.
It's remained empty.
Almost 4 years now.
Until today, that is.
Molli and Gretchen are in there now.
I didn't feel like printing pictures out, so I drew them.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I call it "Wintergreen. [not the flavor]"

I love seeing this bit of lively green in the house every day.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Date Pinwheel Cookies.

Fresh from the oven.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Today we read How the Grinch Stole Christmas...

...and watched the birds at the feeders...

...and lit two candles at dinner.

Oh, how I do love December.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


This is Fluffy.

She's been with us for nearly two years this month.
Meaning she's been with us nearly everywhere for the past two years.
Camping, shopping, you name it. Fluffy's been there.
Here she is tonight, all bundled up and ready for bed.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Many a pie...

At my church's annual Christmas program.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


A very special gift came in the mail the other day.

I can't wait to give it! :D

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This morning was extremely windy--lots of little branches [and a few big ones] litter all the yards now. A few pieces fallen from the pines out front, "spruced" up (pun totally intended. ;]) with a bit of holly made a nice winter centerpiece.

Check out more December Photo Project photos here!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The bird feeders are hung, filled, and ready for winter. Molli is pleased with my work. ;]

Check out more photos from the December Photo Project here!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Morning Walk

I was taking the dog for a walk yesterday morning.
It was fairly bright out, but the sun couldn't yet be seen over the hills here in the valley.
I turned a certain corner, and stood in awe.
Maybe it was the snow.
Maybe it was the red and green cars.
Maybe it was that little red house way back in the background.
Maybe it was the curved tire lines through the snow-dusted ground.
I don't know.
But something made me love it.
So much.

(P.S. I just heard about the December Photo Project, and so will be participating in that for the remainder of the month!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

I was at work today when it started flurrying. Light, airy flurries that fly through the air as tiny specks.

An hour or two later, there were big, wet snowflake clusters.

I came home to this:

And this:

And this:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Bit of Everything

First and foremost: Happy Thanksgiving! :D

No "I'm back! I'll blog more now!"
I won't be setting standards for myself on how often I should post.
I won't be struggling to find something to post on those boring days.
So. What I will do is post when I have something to post, and don't worry about it when I don't.
It's so simple; I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier.

So, here I am. And here's this post. And there's some catching up to do.
Photography: I took someone's senior portraits a week or two ago, and I'm taking some family pictures sometime soon. Quite exciting. :D
Birding: I didn't make enough time in my schedule to get the most out of fall migration, which I was disappointed about. But then, one morning, I saw a small flock of Juncos. I'm looking forward to winter. And I'm hoping to get to a certain lake that has some awesome migrating and wintering waterfowl. (Saw two way-out-of-range Trumpeters there last year!)
Crafting, Sewing, etc: ...have been neglected, unfortunately. Some Christmas projects coming up, though. =)
Writing: This year, in addition to English, I'm taking Creative Writing. I really hated it at first because the first unit was mostly writing about yourself, which I found quite difficult and uninspiring. This unit is poetry, which I was a bit unsure about going into, but it's actually quite fun. :D We had to do one assignment creating poems with all different formats. (diamonds, limericks, lanterns, etc.) Here are three I happened to like:

This first one's silly. A limerick:
There once was an amoeba named Fi-fi.
Who ate bacterium and algae.
But the psuedopods couldn't reach,
To the little specks of green on the beach.
Who were, themselves, quite filled with glee.

A 5W (Who, what, where, when, why):
My lovely cat
Knocked everything,
From my desk,
In the middle of the night,
To warn me of an empty food dish.

And another silly one. A quinzane (a statement of 7 syllables in the first line, and a question spaced out over the second and third lines, with 5 and 3 syllables, respectively):
The squirr'l ran away from me.
Does he think I want
to eat him?
I was surprised that I was able to muster up a nice-sized range of subjects for ten poems we had to do for that project. From pencils to cats to an amoeba.

Oh, and anyone with kids or siblings may enjoy this (some of them are geared towards younger children, but others are timeless):
Just use the left-hand navigation to chose a poem, fill it in, and click "create". :D

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Making Owls

Thanks to this post over at That Artist Woman, I've been busy making these cute owls for both decoration and gifts. =)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Stamp for a Birthday

Last month, I made this stamp for a friend for their birthday. Although I don't have a picture of it all finished--carved & mounted, (shame on me!) It did turn out quite close to my pattern, fortunately. (Although I did accidentally cut of a bit of the poor hound's tail.)
It went well with a small notepad and note cards. I love giving homemade gifts! =)

Monday, September 7, 2009


Setting: someplace in my imagination, sometime in the past.
Plot: nonexistent.
Based on: not a true story.

Her graying hair was kept pinned neatly up, unyielding to the elements. She walked tall and strait and had a thin face--but not stern; it had a look of quiet happiness about it, as if she listened to a charming little song that no one else could hear. She approached the table, empty shopping bag hanging neatly from her arm. She began at the far end, chose a small basket of blueberries, and continued down the length of the stand. She eyed the tomatoes carefully before she spoke.
"Tomatoes aren't so large as most years."
"Twasn't a profitable year for tomatoes--quite enough rain, but not nearly enough sun," I answered as mother had instructed.
She smiled ever so slightly--that same quiet smile she had held since she came into my view, only stretched a bit wider. She answered after a moment. "All in all, they do look to be a good bunch of plum tomatoes." She nodded knowingly.
A pause.
I answered, quietly. "Not plum, ma'am. Beefsteak."
"Oh," was all she said. She handed me the money for the blueberries, that soft smile still in place, and continued on her way.

Oh, the things I think whilst mowing the lawn.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Approaching Autumn

The appearance of the last sunflower to bloom, a lovely rusty orange one, ...coupled with the sight of goldfinches snacking on sunflowers that have already come and gone...
...give rise to thoughts of the approaching autumn.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rainy Birding

I planned a trip to Hawk Mountain last Friday, but, as recommended, called after 6pm the night before to hear the day's results and the next day's forecast. Turns out the weather wasn't going to agree with migration, and my mom wasn't about to drive 2 hours (4 total) for a handful of warblers when I might be able to see them somewhere closer. So we went to spent the day at a park that has a nature trail about a half hour away. As we reached the mouth of the trail, it looked promising--lots of birds calling to each other and flitting around in the brush. Then the rain came; it rained off and on during the entire time on the trial. No lifers, but it was some fun, and we got to stop at a friend's house on the way home. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cracker's Eye View

Just a glimpse at what life would look like if you lived behind a cracker.
Just in case you were wondering.
[photo unedited]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Baking Cookies

The other day, I used the phrase, "If you win a cookie!" and today I found myself baking. =)
It's just the recipe from the back of the bag of chocolate chips, and they turned out really yummy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rantings of a Happy Camper: Part Three--A Stroke of Luck

Rantings of a Happy Camper: the things you think about when you're living in the woods
It's basically just a collection of random thoughts, experiences, and stories that came about during my camping trip.

Part Three: A Stroke of Luck
No thoughtful thoughts or any such thing today; just a little story. The second night camping, we all played Yahtzee. (If you know how to play Yahtzee, skip to the purple star. (*) If not, continue reading. In Yahtzee, you try to get different dice combinations (with 5 dice) for the highest score. The very best thing you can get is "Yahtzee," which is when you get 5 dice that are all the same. For most people, getting Yahtzee happens about half the time (maybe a tad more) they play, but not always. (*) I did fairly well throughout the whole game, but the surprise came when I got Yahtzee. And then, a few turns later, when I got Yahtzee again. And then, a few turns later, when I got Yahztee for a third time. :D I was absolutely Flabbergasted; the odds are so low! (Needless to say, I saved the score sheet.)
The next morning, we played Clue. My cousin rolled first, but didn't get a high enough number to enter a room & make a guess. I rolled next, entered the closest room, (the Ballroom) and picked the first person (Mr. Green) and weapon (candlestick) that came to mind that weren't on my list. Then silence. No one offered to reveal a card with Mr. Green, the ballroom, or the candlestick on it. We checked the envelope, and lo and behold, the guilty person was Mr. Green, and the crime was committed in the ballroom with the candlestick.
What a stroke of luck. =]

I'll hopefully have some nice pictures to post on Friday, as I'll [if all goes as planned] be traveling to the centraleastern (you know, right between northeastern and southeastern ;]) hills of PA, to Hawk Mountain, for this part of migration season. (A very good time for Bald Eagles and Kestrels!) :D

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rantings of a Happy Camper: Part Two--The Rock Dam

Rantings of a Happy Camper: the things you think about when you're living in the woods
It's basically just a collection of random thoughts, experiences, and stories that came about during my camping trip.
Part Two: The Rock Dam
"The Rock Dam" probably doesn't invoke the same flood of memories, ideas, and thoughts for you as it does for me, so I suppose a bit of background is in order. For as long as I can remember, every time we've gone to a family reunion or gone camping, (any summertime event at that site, really) there was a habitual building up of the rock dam. I remember being told at a young age, when I had become decidedly bored with the shallow depth of the creek, that it could be improved by the simple movement of rocks. Every year, even when my father was a child, the rock dam has been built up to create the ideal creek, only to break again sometime between that reunion and the next. But that certainly isn't a complaint, for if something is not broken, there is no need to fix it, and fixing it, in this case, is more than half the fun.
And so it came about, last weekend, as I was placing rocks that had fallen back on the dam, that I thought about this: the time line of this dam--its past, its present, its future. Will this still be a great entertainment in ten years? Twenty? Fifty? No one can say. I felt hopeless for a moment at the thought: We've so much technology already in this age, it's a wonder the dam is still being built; the future can only hold more "improvements" which, I'll admit, may make life easier (or entertainment more accessible from any place), but then what is to become of these simple pleasures? But that isn't to say we're helpless to what the future holds. By example, we can teach. By simply continuing in what we have done, we encourage future generations to do the same. And to think--this is how tradition is born; this is how tradition lives and breathes. We can't guarantee a tradition's survival, but when one does his part in carrying it out, he must simply rely on the future generation's willingness to continue in those ways, to hopefully see the same value in it. It's like planting a seed--you can water it and enjoy it, and you don't know whether in 10 years it will be flourishing or pulled out or ignored, but you do know that there is no great chance of anyone enjoying it if you don't plant it.

So that's it--just a few thought thunk while moving rocks after little sleep in a tent in the woods.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rantings of a Happy Camper: Part One--The Campfire

I'm back and, that's right, it's time for a mini series!
Rantings of a Happy Camper: the things you think about when you're living in the woods
It's basically just a collection of random thoughts, experiences, and stories that came about during my camping trip.
Part One: The Campfire
The Campfire is a wonderful noun--both a place and thing--an item of learning & mystery. I pondered fire and embers and ashes several times during my time camping. It's a most fascinating thing to watch. The flames lick up the branches, and dissolve and appear and leap and stay...until it leaves. And then there are the glowing embers, the blackened stick with coursing veins of fire running through it, radiant seams glowing and darkening and glowing once more like something electronic, but not. And then the bits of fiery ash that float upwards to the sky, like artificial fireflies, until they become swallowed by the waiting darkness.
How could one tire of watching something as complex, as beautiful, as wild and unknown as fire?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Away for the Weekend

I'm going camping--no internet or running water for the weekend. =)
I wanted to upload a particular picture for this post, but I didn't get around to it, and I'm leaving ASAP, but there'll be plenty of pictures when I come back. Seeya then. :]

(And my blog is officially 366 days old today ;])

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Card for Father's Day

Yes, it's from that long ago, haha. I figured I might as well post it. =)
(Please excuse my pictures for now, as I am having problems editing--my computer monitor is dark, so I'm trying not to brighten things too much, but I don't want them too dark, either. :P)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summer Garden

This year I started a small (but much-loved) flower garden by the back patio. I've got mainly sunflowers and a some California Poppies, plus another flower that we're unsure of.

When some of my California Poppies broke off the plant, they adorned my room in an old jar; I love having flowers, both inside and out the house. :)