Entries to Win Afghan

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Loretta's Christmas Tree Party!

Thanksgiving is over, let the Christmas season begin. Loretta had a tree decorating party today. It was just the two of us, but hey, that can be a party.

Christmas tree

Here are a few of her decorations that I like a lot. Doesn't this little bird look so real? Ready to jump on your finger and eat seeds from your hand!

Christmas tree ornaments

Here is a cute little surfer from a holiday she spent in Hawaii.

Christmas tree ornaments

This isn't on the tree. She got this during her time in Brazil. I like how different cultures apply their own motifs to the Christmas scenes.

Christmas tree ornaments

We decorated, listened to Christmas music, drank some coffee, and then I scooted for home to do a whole lot of work. The main thing I had to get done was put away all the Thanksgiving food. Om is already gone on a road trip, and I'm leaving tomorrow morning. Very weird to not just keep snacking on the big bird until it's reduced to a soup skeleton. But I packaged up some larger bags of food, froze the bones for soup later, and also filled these little trays.

Humor me here; it sometimes doesn't take much to make me happy. These aren't anything super-special. It's just that I bought these compartment meal trays years ago, and I'm always so tickled when I can actually load them up and have six real balanced meals all ready to heat, in the freezer.

food trays

Oh, you want to know where I'm going? Stay tuned. Not any of my usual haunts. Tee hee!

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Pink, Blue (and Red)

Today's images:

The sunrise was pink, and the light was so intense it lit up the mulberry trees. This is not looking into the east, but to the west where the light was cast.

trees at sunrise

Later in the day, when I got home from working, the same trees had blue sky in back of them. I like the contrast.

trees with blue sky

And in between, I liked these two scenes with the focus on red. But notice that a tree is an important part of both pictures.

red barn

tree with red berries

Work tonight. Not sure I'm mentally ready.

See Mulberry Mystery for more about these two trees
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We really did Turkey Day this year. If you are going to do it, do it big, right?

Yesterday, we had a surprise gift of flowers delivered to our door. They were from Dave & Loren, who joined us for the meal today. I had a basket that seemed to fit the selection. Here's how that turned out.

autumn flower arrangement

I also tried my hand at something fun I saw on the internet. Wish I could take credit for thinking it up, but I'm not too proud to copy a good idea.

turkey vegetable platter

At the other end of the table... the serious turkey.

turkey with bacon

The people who joined us are all familiar faces on this blog. Our friend Josh, son Josh, Om, Loren & Dave (from the trail club), and Loretta. It was a pretty good mix of people and there was some lively conversation.

holiday dinner

After we ate ourselves into oblivion we went for a short walk in the winter wonderland. I don't remember when we last got this much snow on Thanksgiving. I had to run the snowblower- that was an hour's job I hadn't planned for the schedule, but I got it done before people came! Om helped a lot with the miscellaneous final preparations and the cleanup!

turkey with bacon

We had two other helpers for cleanup detail too, Cedar and Corkie!

dogs licking platter

An exceptionally fine holiday!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Getting Ready for T-Day

Did a lot of the cooking this evening. One more thing in the oven, but this should give you a tempting idea...

Thanksgiving food

Getting up early to deal with the birdie, but it's nothing to compare with Galluzilla!

See Galluzilla
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


am I up to now?

trailer hitch

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Monday, November 25, 2013


Today was interesting. I had to go out and do assignments, but it was really miserable. The wind was howling and the snow was swirling. I only got a few cases done.

Here are a couple of not very remarkable pictures. First is Lake Michigan through some trees. I should have done a video to capture the cold waves.

Lake Michigan waves

The second picture is Bass Lake Outlet where Ellen and I often kayak. Not quite so sunny today. You can compare this with the first picture at Bass Lake with Loretta for just about the same location (I think just around the bend) in summer.

Perhaps not such a good day to kayak today!

Bass Lake Outlet

Too much to do this week, but I'm trying to find the beauty in the day.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Restoring My Trail

It certainly has felt wintry the last couple of days. There isn't really very much snow yet, but the temperature stayed cold enough that it didn't melt.

Om decided to walk my trail with me, and we took the saw along. Since I had a helping hand, I concentrated on part of the biggest mess I showed you at Revisiting My Trail. (picture 2 if you want to compare)

That tangle isn't all cleared, but we made a start.

snowy path

The creek was at a much more normal level, and shiny in the late sun.


It's silly, but I like knowing that wildlife uses my path. Of course the deer had been there. They are everywhere.

deer track

But I was delighted to see that the fox is also trotting that route.

fox track

I'd like to have a shot at mowing the trails through the field for skiing one more time before real winter sets in. We'll see if I get that wish! I know this was a familiar route. Hope you aren't bored with it.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

In Memory of the Brainless Pearl


I'm such a fool for dogs. It's even tough when my friends' dogs die. And several of us all got pups around the same time, so the past year or so has been a general time of loss. First to go was Mattie, the wonderful German Shepherd that owned my friend Ester. See Ester, the Shark, and the Zoo.

Then, of course, Maggie left in March.

Today, friend Irene said goodbye to Pearl. Pearl was unique. She was happy, happy, happy, and when she wasn't happy, she was dreaming about being happy. You could not dissuade Pearl from wanting to play and smile and enjoy the now, even if you wanted to be in a funk, or rest or stay clean or just be grumpy. And when a large Golden Retriever wants to be happy... well.

And it was unclear whether Pearl was mentally capable of being anything else. She seemed brainless and undeterred from her quest to be happy. And yet, Irene says, "I always figured it took an idiot to be purely happy; after all, even a dog's life has some harsh realities. but then again, occasionally the idiot would do something so smart, that I always wondered about her brain."

She was a thin and ungainly puppy. I took this picture of her in 2002.

Golden Retriever

She grew into a massive, wiggly dog who knew how to intrude herself into any situation and make her presence an issue. Here she is, stopping the train.

Golden Retriever

I didn't take this last picture. It's the one Irene chose to send to those of us who got the notice. It's Pearl at her happiest, if one could say there were degrees of her joy. Irene says, "Such a typical moment for Pearl, soaking wet with a stick in her mouth. Absolutely everything was her favorite, but tops among them was swimming."

Golden Retriever

Pearl's fast demise was quite a shock, as Irene's other dog is older and everyone assumed Sandy would be the first to go.

Happy forever, Pearl!

For the best picture of Pearl, with Sandy, and another human friend, Lois, see Close Friends

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Just a Few Hours

I went out today and took some pictures after we got sugary snow this morning. Some of those are pretty good. But when I was looking at the shots to pick some for the blog, I discovered I had taken essentially the same picture at about 1:30 pm and again at 4:30.

These are more in the Moods of My Backyard series for sure! The pictures look SO different, but there is only a slight difference in the angle and where I was standing when I took them.

snow on pines

sun on pines

Back to work in a few hours.

See Moods of My Backyard
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Thursday, November 21, 2013


One thing that has fallen by the wayside this year, with a second job, is being able to preserve as much fruit as I'd like to. I was thinking I wouldn't be able to make any cider this year.

But, apparently we haven't had a hard enough freeze to ruin the texture of the apples. This tree is just dropping its fruit.

apple tree

The deer have been enjoying the bounty, but there is plenty for me too. The cool thing about cider is that the fruit does not have to be perfect.

apples on the ground

I brought home my "shopping basket" full.

apples in a basket

Getting the job done!

apples ground up

From that basket, I got a gallon of cider. Hope to repeat the feat tomorrow and then can it all. If you would like to see the directions for how to do this (it's really easy), go to Fresh Apple Cider, No Press Needed

apple cider

Worked all afternoon, and will go in for a few extra hours in the morning. Everything is way behind because of extra holiday sale flyers, personnel changes, and broken equipment. Wowzers. But I'll take the cash.

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