Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 367 - 31st December 2012 - The End of Another Year

Another too early morning, temperature is -5.7, should be ice in the lake this morning. Well here we are at the end of 2012. Some glad times, some sad times throughout the year both make us who we are and create memories for years to come. So what are your plans for welcoming in the New Year this evening - anything exciting? We'll either take a jaunt up over the hill [providing I can stay awake long enough] and do some visiting maybe see fireworks or maybe stay home. Will see what happens when the time rolls around.
Just a few reflections from 2012 - I think by looking back a little bit we will improve what's to come or we learn from our mistakes.  I started the Blog in January which I must say I've enjoyed. Karen and I worked very hard all winter, spring and early summer on getting the Chronicles of Water Street published for the Society - that was a huge task. Larry's Mom passed away, but we were thankful it was quick. I really discovered photography and bought a new camera in June, as my "sista" says it must be surgically attached to my body. Some days I take better photos than other days but it's part of the improving process. One thing I've learned is I need a creative outlet - for years it was dress design or painting but when I ended that part of my life I didn't realize there really was a void until I picked up the camera. Got to photograph Harmony Bazaar and a Wedding in the summer. Shared meals, good news, bad news, laughs and tears with friends. Larry switched jobs in July and is so much happier as is the gas tank on the truck since he doesn't have as far to go. I did the "Bingo Bus Tour" with friends - our annual late fall excursion and so much fun. Took up exercise class twice a week beginning in September - I may not want it but need it. I'm sure the New Year will have it's ups and downs but right now I feel I can deal with them better, 2012 has made me a stronger person I hope.
Our snow storm kind of fizzled yesterday, not exactly what they had been predicting. It was still mostly a day inside. I took it as a sign to take down all the decorations and tree ornaments and packed them away in the closet for another year. That shot a good portion of the day. Now to put things back where they belong. Larry worked on his jigsaw puzzle I got him for Christmas on and off most of the day. It was his last day off, so today we are back to normal - Lexi and I on the home front. Now to decide what our winter project will be. I have a collection of photographs from two very early photographers plus all the old family photos, these all need to be catalogued and re-organized. 2013 may be the year to get it done. It's a huge job - thousands and thousands of photos and negatives and not something a person can work on continuously but maybe by spring I could have a dent in them.
Lexi usually helps push the snow scoop, but she's looking pretty tired, must be break time.
I took the opportunity to shoot through the kitchen window since it was nasty and I don't like taking my camera out in bad weather. Still some some snow coming down in the afternoon.
I like a bit of snow on the evergreens.
You could tell it was a nor'easterly wind as only one side was covered in snow.
A Nuthatch joined the feeder yesterday.
My ever favourite chickadee.
They are making themselves quite at home and enjoying the seeds. Now where are those Cardinals?? Please you town folks send some up our way!

Soon time to wake the rest of the household. Enjoy your day!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 366 - 30th December 2012 - Max, Ice and A Blue Jay

I slept in! RAH! made it until 5 am and as you can tell I still have Internet. Sounds pretty wild outside though but I don't see as much snow as I expected looks like we got snow and ice pellets so far. I'm really disappointed. Temperature is +0.2 so I guess it could do anything.  I even did most of this last night and set it to post at 6:30 am just in case of power loss. Maybe I got over prepared! Guess the tree will come down today, sounds like a good project for miserable weather.
I've been thinking that since we are coming to the end of another year with a new one approaching very quickly it's time to think about resolutions. I know, everyone does the New Years Resolutions and before the end of the month we've all forgotten or broken them. Truthfully, the last few years I haven't bothered but this year will be different. I say that with great sincerity...we'll see. I think the secret is to set goals that you can achieve and a few that you really have to work at, maybe they are long term, maybe something that's attainable in the short term. So here goes the first few:
1. Long term - keep the Blog going - it's become part of my morning ritual so should be easy to attain.
2. Improve my photography skills - practice makes perfect - right.
3. Keep up the exercise classes and drop a few pounds - now this ones a little more difficult since I have a huge stash of chocolates but maybe instead of eating them all at once I dole them out a few at a time.
4. Camp out and spend the whole weekend at Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song. This takes place in July in Lockeport. A couple of my best friends [sistas] and I are planning a girls weekend in the mini home to enjoy the weekend of music. It should be a blast!
5. Try some of Darrell's recipes from his blog: He always has great ideas for tasty meals, baking, not to mention liquor making!
Had a great evening with some of the family. Nice to see the boys. All ready for the storm - lights, radio, etc.

 This is Max looks like he's on the prowl.
By the looks of his belly, I'd say it's a good thing he's out for a walk.

The ditches froze back over last night.
Fungi of some sort, maybe.
 Very cool the way this has frozen -looks like the eye of a storm.

I was playing around with some photo effects.
There is just something about ice that I find so neat.
Little drops are frozen around the base of the twigs.
Waiting for the storm.
I keep telling Larry that this bird feeder he built is more like a bird house, the bigger birds just settle in for a nap.

Stay warm and cozy inside! Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 365 - 29th December 2012 - Chickadees, Ducks, Rain and Snow

Another early morning, temperature is -2.8. Some of Larry's family is coming for supper tonight, so I have lots to do, hopefully will get everything done this morning and can enjoy a nice peaceful walk after lunch. Fingers crossed that the weather holds until everyone gets here and returns home again. I notice the "red weather warning bar" has popped up on the weather sites. Sounds like this one is going to be all snow - upwards of 25 cms of the white stuff. Some sites are giving 25-40 cm so it will be a coin toss on what we get. Seems it will start tonight and go into Sunday. I guess the girls will be polishing up those cross country skis! Maybe I better get the hot chocolate [with just a tad of baileys for extra warmth] and a few drunken cherries ready for them, never know when  you'll get unexpected visitors. I don't mind 1 snow storm, but after that it can stay away.
Yesterday was a funny weather day, or maybe just typical Nova Scotia weather - rain wait five minutes and it switched to snow. At one point before supper it looked like a mini blizzard in the back yard. Thought I would head through the woods after lunch once the rain stopped and hopefully before the snow started but I was too slow, so tucked my camera inside my jacket during "snow showers". Felt good to get out in the fresh air, new hat and mitts even though it wasn't terribly cold but it was blowing. Made a quick trip to town, just the necessities of groceries, gas [which went up again in price] and some banking. After doing a pan of brownies as the base for dessert Saturday night and picking up a few things around the house I spent some time going through my new mushroom book I received from Lois for Christmas. I'd highly recommend this one, it's the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America. I have the wild flower version of this series and they are great books, easy to follow and look up species.  I really can't wait to use it, I may go back through my photos over the cold winter days and see if I can put names to some of my finds last fall. My habit is to write in pencil next to the description where and when I found a bird, flower etc. I know it's not good to write in books but it does help to create a future record and pencil is not terribly harmful.
I think this is one of the chickadees who has been at my feeder.

 A little Old Man's Beard dripping with rain drops and blowing in the wind.
 The tame ducks were hanging out in the lake.
 There are only three of them left, looks like something happen to the female.
The ice has taken a beating along the shore in the cove.

 Floating patches of ice in the ditches.
I can see a few cranberries in the centre.

Time to get moving. Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 364 - 28th December 2012 - Snow, Rain and Birds

Still raining this morning but the temperature has gone up to +4.9 and the wind doesn't sound like it's blowing as hard. Another too early morning as well. The end of the week again, need to run in town and pick up a few things for tomorrow's supper with  some of Larry's family. Have a ham in the freezer which I'll cook and it will be a nice change from the turkey and lobster most everyone has been eating this week. Hardship meals of the southshore - HA!HA! Think I'll make a Death by Chocolate Trifle, sure the nephews will enjoy that and I can put it together either this evening or tomorrow morning. Hopefully the weather will clear later today and I can get out for a walk, feeling a bit sluggish after little activity yesterday... and I'm missing those damn exercise classes (but don't tell Cindy).
Yesterday was a good day for inside things and a long nap on the sofa with Lexi.  Well I did do some laundry and stuff around the house first. Also spent several hours cleaning off some of my laptop, time to start moving some photos to other storage units, I did manage to get January and part of February from this year moved and some office work product to disks. It was fun watching the birds at the feeder even though the weather was miserable. Umm... thinking I need another feeder now.
 Not great photos but I did have a little action at my new feeder. An Evening Grosbeak who decided it made a good shelter from the storm.
 Hard to get good shots through the kitchen window in a snow/ice storm. Chickadees were in and out most of the day.

 A single rosehip left from warmer days.
I suppose I should have cut these down last fall but I rather like the looks of them covered in snow throughout the winter. Adds a little interest to the yard.

Time to make a grocery list and have another coffee. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 363 - 27th December 2012 - Boxing Day trip to the Beach

Thursday and most people will be heading back to work, seems the holidays went by quickly. We spend so much time getting ready and then like a flash they are over. Larry's home until Monday so we still have a few days together. Temperature is -0.9 and I slept in until 4:40 am, a whole extra hour.  Sounds like we are in for one messy day. Apparently at our end of the province we are starting with snow/ice pellets [nothing happening yet] then it will probably change over to lots and lots of rain and high winds. Most of the rain/wind will take place this evening. Time will tell, but it sounds like an inside kind of day to me. Guess I better check into my "war chest" as I like to call it - has extra batteries, lamps, candles etc for power outages. Just in case...
Boxing day was a nice relaxing day. Weather was good - a little overcast in the morning but overall fine and not too cold. Larry and Lexi worked in the wood pile all morning and I hung out in the house. Well Lexi got in trouble - normally she steals Larry's gloves, hats and slippers but never does anything to them until yesterday she decided one of his gloves should be shredded, needless to say they weren't on good terms for quite a while. He never really stays mad at her for any length of time, thank goodness. We headed to the beach after lunch, ate our lobster sandwiches before going. For some reason I couldn't convince him it was a good day for a picnic! Tried out my new hat and gloves - work like a charm - warm ears and fingers!  More lobster for supper - just fried up with some butter, creamy mashed potatoes and peas from the garden [last summer of course and frozen]. Friends arrived in the evening for a visit and drink.
 Not normally a beach kind of dog, Lexi sure had a great time.
 This is a girl who slept well last night after all the exercise.
 Running and racing up and down the beach between Larry and I.

 Checking out the boats that were coming in.
 And every time I looked there was a different one going by. We must have gone just about the time they lobster boats were heading into the wharf from their day out fishing.
 I like the designs in the sand the water leaves when the tide goes out.
Not a trip to the beach without a little seaweed.

Time for another coffee. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 361 - 26th December 2012 - Lexi, Ice and A new Bird Feeder

Another too early morning, wish this would break soon or at least go back to a couple mornings/week instead of every morning. Temperature is -3.6, guessing there will be a little more ice in the lake today. No great plans for today, maybe a little visiting or I have a real urge to go find a big beach to roam on with the cameras. Larry's never hard to convince and we could pack some lobster sandwiches [my favourite way to eat lobster] and take off for a few hours.  Hard to say what the day will bring.
Once again we had a wonderful Christmas day filled with love and family. Larry, Lexi and I received lovely gifts, including several books - a new one on birds and one on identifying mushrooms for me and the Old Farmer's Almanac for Larry.  I almost forgot - I got my hat and warm knit gloves for those cold sun rise mornings! Bring it on! We had breakfast at my Mom and Dad's, watched them open their gifts, then back home for a walk and a nap. Turkey supper with all the trimmings including plum pudding with hard sauce at Mom and Dad's for supper. After doing up the dishes I walked a couple of blocks in hopes of shifting the great meal Mom had prepared but in the end I really needed my pj's with the elastic waist. Ah the joys of Christmas - it's all about the food and family.
 Lexi was impatiently waiting for help with her stocking.
 And she gets right into the unwrapping. A new stuffed squeaky reindeer.
 The cold temperatures over night brought forth a bit of ice in the coves of the lake and ditches.

 Larry putting out the new bird feeder he made me for Christmas.
 And of course I got bird seed too, now to wait for the birds to come.
 Well there was a Robin near by.
Walking down John Street toward Dock Street after supper the lights were coming on.

The harbour was very calm.

The moon is beginning to fill, I think it's full on Friday night.

I am blessed with a wonderful family and true friends both near and far. Enjoy your day!