Monday, December 31, 2012

On This 7th Day of Christmas...

I wish you a new year filled with joy, blessings, abundance, love and good health!  It's a very cold new year's eve here, snow is covering everything and that snow is covered by a layer of ice.  Every so often an icy-fingered breeze plays with the branches of the pines and cedars, making them sound like a million fragile crystal wind chimes.  (About the title...we celebrate all twelve days of Christmas which makes Christmas last until the 6th of January).

Little Gloria (left) and Malcolm are happy to be home from the vet's...
(look at the smile on Malcolm's face) 
and so is their brother, Merlin, snoozing on the floor after getting reacquainted with his Christmas toys.  All three are healing well.  And me?  You know I'm happy to have them back at home! 
This is what my laptop's monitor looked like after Gloria killed it.  Scary, huh?
But it came back home today!  I'm almost as happy to have it back as I am to have Merlin, Gloria and Malcolm back safe at home. . . nah.  Having a computer doesn't come close to making me as happy as Gloria, Malcolm and Merlin do, along with the rest of my fur babies. 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

If You Have Some to Spare...

Could you please send good thoughts and wishes to Merlin, Malcolm and Gloria?  (That's Merlin (grey) and Gloria (black) in the top photo, and Malcolm (grey and white) and Merlin in the bottom photo).  All three of my babies have just left with their Dad to go to the vet's to be spayed (Gloria) and neutered (Malcolm and Merlin).  Arrrrrgh!  I hate this whole process, the being away from them, knowing how frightened they will be, worrying that everything will go all right (being spayed is just like a human woman having a hysterectomy, being neutered is not quite as risky).  I know it's necessary, all my other cats are spayed or neutered, but I will be one worried mama until they are all back home with me safe and sound!

(These are previously posted photos, I still don't have my computer back from Dell....sigh).

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

I can't believe it's here already.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas that is filled to overflowing with love and happiness, blessings and bliss!   

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dreams Do Come True

In an earlier post I said I was dreaming of a white Christmas.  It's snowing lightly as I write this and the weather forecast says it will snow heavily all day tomorrow and tomorrow night.  Yay! :) 

The photo is from Pinterest...I will be SO happy when I get my computer back from Dell.  I don't think that will happen before the first of the year though.  Bless my husband for letting me use his computer (however briefly) while mine is being repaired.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Solstice and...

A Joyful Yule.  The shortest day, the longest night of the year....but now the light starts to push back the dark.

And so the wheel keeps turning, as Mother Earth starts her dance back towards Grandfather Sun.

And may the darkness in human hearts be pushed out and replaced with the light of compassion, tolerance and love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


"Trees are sanctuaries.  Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.  They do not preach learning and precepts.  They preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life."  Hermann Hesse

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Connecticut, 12-14-2012 

Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female (age 6)
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male (age 7)
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female (age 6)
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female (age 7)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female (age 6)
Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, male (age 6)
Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, female (age 6)
Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06, female (age 6)
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male (age 7)
Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06, male (age 6)
James Mattioli, 03/22/06, male (age 6)
Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05, female (age 7)
Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, female (age 6)
Jack Pinto, 05/06/06, male (age 6)
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male (age 6)
Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06, female (age 6)
Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, female (age 6)
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female (age 6)
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male (age 6)
Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06, female (age 6)

Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female (age 29)
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female (age 47)
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female (age 52)
Lauren Russeau, 1982, female (age 29)
Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56, female (age 56)
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female (age 27) 

May your precious souls be forever at peace and may the ones who loved you be given the strength they need to get through this horror. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Russian Santa

I'm so used to posting photos from my files, that I forgot I can post from the Internet via URL. 
I found this photo of a gorgeous Russian Santa on Pinterest.  I've never seen a Santa suit quite like this one; the embroidery (if that is what it is...maybe some sort of applique?) is so beautiful.  It almost looks like a Scandinavian form of painting called 'rosemaling.' 

No Fed Ex person came today to pick up my poor, temporarily (I hope) dead computer.  Maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Computer Was Murdered!

I'd post a picture of the perpetrator, but I'm using my husband's computer right now and I don't have access to my photos.  The little stinker who murdered my computer was my darling little Gloria, the little black kitten that is the newest addition to our family.  She jumped up to the top of my laptop monitor (it was open), causing the whole thing to crash down from my desk to the floor.  I'm so grateful that it didn't fall on her because she could have been badly injured.

After 3 intensely frustrating hours on the phone with Dell, they finally told me that FedEx would come to pick up my computer and take it to them.  They think (hope) it can be fixed...for a little over $350.00.  I was so rattled that I didn't think to ask them if I would get my money back if it can't be fixed. 

So, when my husband isn't using his computer, I will be visiting your blogs but I probably won't be posting anything on mine. 

Thank goodness I have everything backed up to an external hard drive, because I've heard some scary stories about Dell's service department.  I've also heard some good stories about them, too, so I'm going to think positive thoughts and hope that my own dear purple 'puter will be back here soon with all damage fixed. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Quote for Monday

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year."  Charles Dickens' character, Scrooge.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Sunsets - Sunset Clouds

Taken in November of 2009 on Highway 18 at an elevation of about 5,500 feet - over a mile high.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Bit of Christmas Cuteness

This little one is just adorable.  (I found the photo on Pinterest, attributed to Squirrel Hugger on Flicker).  I wish I could convince the squirrels who come to my feeders to pose in a Santa hat.  Or, I wish I could at become proficient enough in Photoshop to put a hat on my photos of squirrels.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Faeries Friday - Christmas Faeries

My studio was full of sparkles and stars today (no, I didn't hit my head on anything...honest).  I'm sure the sparkles were made by the Christmas Faeries who are everywhere this time of year, zipping about sparkling the world with Christmas happiness.  If you see a tiny twinkle from the corner of your eye, or think you've spotted a stray piece of glitter, chances are good that you've caught a glimpse of a Christmas Faery. 

There is one sure way to tell, however, if you've been in the presence of a Christmas Faery: you'll feel a nearly overwhelming feeling of joy, quickly followed by an absolutely irresistible urge to go out and commit random acts of kindness.

I hope the Christmas Faeries visit you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Taken December 17, 2008.  I'm hoping we have another winter like the one of 2008...we're overdue for a good one.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Little by Little

That's how I'm getting the Christmas/Yule decorating done.  First the garland goes up around the top of the living room walls, then my husband winds the lights through it, then I add the sparkly apples and snowflakes.  Then comes the top of the armoire next to the fireplace and, right now, my husband is assembling the tree. 

And, just 10 minutes later, the kittens have knocked the tree over!  Now, where did we put the wire that we use to anchor the tree to the ceiling and wall??? 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Welcome December!

One of my favorite months of the year, in spite of time seeming to go into warp speed mode.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Raining and I'm Not Complaining

It's not looking like this here yet.  (This was taken on Christmas morning in 2005). I just finished taking down all the autumn decorations and it looks bare, spare and blah!  I was going to haul the Yule/Christmas decorations down to the cottage from the studio attic today but it's raining and I'm not complaining...we need the rain SO much.  The weather is supposed to be rainy until Sunday or Monday; I'm crossing my fingers that the weather forecast is right this time. 

So, my cottage will have to wait a bit before it gets dressed up because the stone steps from here to the studio are just too treacherous in the rain to be carrying big boxes down.  The steps wind down a steep hillside, they're covered in pine needles which makes them even more slippery, and I'm such a klutz I can trip on absolutely nothing, so we'll just have to put up with bare, spare and blah for now. 

But, even without decorations, it's lovely, wonderful, and glorious to be sitting by the fire drinking a cup of hot chocolate and watching the RAIN pour down! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Re-reading Books

"Sometimes I just HAVE to re-read a book.  Even if I have new ones, the old ones call to me."  Anonymous

Are you like this, too?  For me, re-reading a favorite book is like visiting with a beloved friend (or lots of them) that I haven't seen in a long while.  I tend to re-read favorite books when I'm stressed or just because it happens to be a certain time of the year and a particular book just fits that time of year. 

 It's a good thing I'm a fast reader (don't go by the 'what I'm reading now' thing in my sidebar; usually by the time I get around to changing it, I've read eight or nine books beyond that book).  Also, I'm never without a book, or my Kindle.  My sister, who is not a reader (people are always shocked by how different we are and how close we are in spite of those differences) says, "Honestly, Victoria, you're the only person I've ever known who thinks it's perfectly all right to read while sitting at the dining room table!"  My reply to her never varies.  "So, you didn't know our mother?"  I ask, and then we always laugh. 

When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I told him I wanted him to completely cover the dining room walls with beautiful shelves for books.  Here's hoping... 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thoughts on Black Friday


"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have on something they don't need."  Will Rogers

Will Rogers, an early 20th century humorist and social commentator who also happened to be Cherokee, pretty much sums up the way I feel about Black Friday. 

In addition to that, I have a question.  Why has shopping turned into combat?  I read about the craziness at the malls and I have to wonder why anyone would want to participate in that mess.  I can understand wanting to get a good deal on the things that one buys, but numerous studies have proven that there are far better deals to be had on other days of the year. 

I just don't get it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Poor Husband...

He's sitting on the couch cuddling Miss Daisy and that is where he most likely will be for some time.  He has come down with a terrible case of the Flu...and it doesn't look like there will be any Thanksgiving turkey for him.  In fact, since it will only be the two of us this year, I think I will hold off on roasting a turkey for him (I'm a vegetarian) until he feels a lot better.  Any spare get-well-quickly thoughts and wishes you can send his way will be most appreciated!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Quote for Monday

So comes to us at times, from the unknown
And inaccessible solitudes of being,
The rushing of the sea-tides of the soul;
And inspirations, that we deem our own,
Are some divine foreshadowing and foreseeing
Of things beyond our reason or control.  ~  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(Photo from the Internet; if this is your photo, please let me know).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Sunlight

                'Sunlight Falling on Cedars'

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Gloria (on the left) thinks that cuddling up with her big sister Sophia is a fine thing to do on these cold nights, even if she does have to endure a bit of a bath.  We had a little rain and a dusting of snow a few days ago.  I think (fingers crossed) winter weather is finally here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Quote for Monday

"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility."  Rachel Carson

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012


"Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons."  Ruth Ann Schabacker

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Sunlight

Taken today, while Elizabeth and I were out collecting a few acorns and pine cones.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Faeries Friday - The Truth About Chimney Sparks

My youngest great-great niece, Elizabeth, is spending the week-end with me.  Earlier this evening, while a cold little wind wandered around outside, we had watched our favorite movie "Fairy Tale: A True Story" with cats curled on our laps (when they weren't trying to sneak a taste of the whipped cream on top of our hot chocolate) and dogs begging for bits of peanut butter cookies at our feet.

As I was tucking her into bed in her favorite attic bedroom, the one with the sloping ceilings, a tiny fireplace and a window seat that overlooks the stream, she asked me this question: "Auntie V, can faeries really fly down the chimney like they do in the movie?  Why don't they get burned?"  I replied, "Well, of course they can!  And they don't get burned because they're magical.  They fly back up the chimney, too, only they're usually moving so fast and twinkling so brightly, that most people think they are sparks from their fireplace." 

Just as I finished speaking, I saw her eyes widen and her little mouth become a round 'O' of wonder.  I quickly turned to look out the window behind me and saw, in the purple tinted air of almost night, a shining, twinkling flight of bright Faeries swirling past the window. 

"I saw them, Auntie V, I saw them!  Did you?"  I replied, "Yes, my darling girl, I saw them, too." 

Now, I know some of you may think they were only sparks from the fireplace, but Elizabeth and I . . . well, we know the truth.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stopping Time

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."  Dorothea Lange  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

5th Annual Halloween Party - A Sisters Halloween

It's that time of year!  It's Vanessa Valencia's 5th annual Halloween blog party, and my first time participating in it.  Thank you so much, Vanessa, for hosting this.  To see the other parties, click the link at the top right of the sidebar.  (Left click on the photos to enlarge them).

I had a hard time deciding what piece of jewelry to I just piled all of it on!  I do so love moons.  Of course, my eldest sister, Patricia, will probably 'relieve' me of some of it when she arrives, ha!

Won't you come in?  Watch your step on the walkway, there are lots of spirits floating about.  Oh!  Is that the Great Pumpkin I see on top of the arbor?  Yes, yes, I think it is!

I have some goodies for us to nibble on... 

And some lovely goblets from which we can sip a delicious potion or two...(I couldn't find my Halloween 'Spider Venom' mugs, I can't imagine where they've gone off to...)

Look!  They have little images of our sisters flying on their brooms at the bottom (although I don't know why people insist on making witches look ugly...I've never ever seen an ugly one).  Ooh, and there are pumpkins and ghosts and even a little cat!

And an owl and a flying monkey.

Please, have some cookies and candy corn...

and cupcakes, too. 

This is Miss Georgia, don't you just love her red curls?  That's Miss Tabitha Twitchett behind her.  She's in a bad mood because she didn't want to sit holding the lantern for so long, so please excuse her expression.

Miss Georgia insisted on a close-up.  Well, who can blame her? 

Miss Georgia thought you might enjoy having your fortune told by her friend, Miss Fortuna.

Miss Fortuna is a very wise, kind witch with a wondrous gift of seeing the future...your future.  I'm sure she'll have something good to tell you!

Gloria (on the left) and Stella Bella (on the right) are waiting for us to get our hats and cloaks and fly up to my studio...they've heard my sister's party has started.

Of course, Merlin wants to go along, too! 

Just let me plop my hat on my head before the cats eat all the feathers. 

Edwina says sisters are flying in from all directions!

What a lovely lavender light Luna is glowing with tonight!

Oh, we'd better stop on the stairs to say hello to the Faeries that live in this forest.  We wouldn't want to hurt their feelings... 

Yep, my eldest sister is definitely here!

She made a pumpkin path for us.  She doesn't get that whole 'yellow brick road' song.  She likes to sing 'follow the orange pumpkin path.'  Yeah...I know. 

I just noticed, she managed to talk the trees into producing magical pumpkin fruit! 

Oh yum, it looks like she has caramel apples and chocolate cake and champagne!  Hey, there are my Halloween mugs.  No wonder I couldn't find them earlier.  And I think I see my Halloween plates, too.  Ahhh, sisters...but what would I do without her?

And both of us are..........

Filled with lots of good magic, wonderful amazements, and, of course, lots of candy!
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