Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!


Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sifting Snow


I took this early this morning while I was out filling the bird feeders.  It had just started to snow, tiny snowflakes so fine it was as though the sky was sifting them before letting them fall.  The texture of the bark with the frosting of snow caught my eye.

It's been snowing all day here, but there are only about three inches on the ground.  It takes a long time for this type of snow to build up; even up at the top of the ski runs they're only supposed to get eight or nine inches of powder.  I'm hoping the weather forecasters are wrong, and I'll wake up to several feet of snow! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Quote For Monday


"There is no end of wonders and mysteries: fireflies and music boxes, the stars that outnumber all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world, pinhead eggs that become caterpillars that dissolve into genetic soup from which arise butterflies, that some hearts are dark and others full of light."  Dean Koontz

I would add, from my own list of wonders: Sun lighting fires deep within ice.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Sunlight


Cold sunlight.  My husband found a 100 year old water pump years ago and made a sort of fountain from it.  The water flowing from it freezes nearly every year, but I've never seen it freeze with "arms" sticking out.  The wind was blowing very hard, so I'm guessing maybe the water was freezing as the wind was blowing it.  Maybe that's not it, though, because they're sticking out at different angles.  Wind and water magic!

What caught my attention when I looked out the window, and made me rush outside to take photos, was the way the setting sun was lighting up part of the ice.  This section is about two feet tall. 

By the time I got back into the house, I was feeling like I was about to turn into a human icicle!  Because, of course, I rushed out without my jacket. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Oh, How it Used To...

Snow!  This is a photo of a place in Twin Peaks that rents little cabins to vacationers.  They're always decorated so cutely at Christmas, I always try to drive over to take some photos.  These are from 2008, back when we used to get 'real' snow.

The one below is from this year.  They've added a second story, and the decorations are cute, but...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bliss


I spent today just relaxing, drinking tea, reading, and talking on the phone to friends in faraway places.  Bliss!  OK, I also ate too many cookies and pieces of fudge, but that was bliss, too.

(I just noticed that there is a bluish-purple ... something ... behind some of the berries in the pitcher.  What could have made that?  I didn't use the flash, and I didn't notice anything like that when I took the photo a few minutes ago and I don't see anything like that right now.  Weird).

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Kringle


I've been wanting a Mark Roberts fairy for so long.  Today, I got one!  This Sugar and Spice Stocking Hanger Fairy was my Christmas present from my husband.  I have a shelf in the kitchen where Kringle (that's what I named him) will live during the Christmas season.  I'm going to use the hook to hold a teacup instead of a stocking.

A better look at his kind face.
And his apron.
And his cute little elf shoes.
We had a lovely Christmas...I hope yours was lovely, too.  (Please excuse the paper on the floor, the cats like to play with it after we've unwrapped presents.  I thought I'd picked up most of it, but apparently they had some hidden).

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wishing You...


It's cold and very windy here in these mountains, but inside our cottage it's warm and filled with the scent of baking cookies.  Yes, I'm just now getting around to baking the cookies!  Last night we went out looking at Christmas lights; I'll post some photos later.  Tonight, after our Christmas Eve dinner, my husband and I will go for our annual Christmas Eve walk through the forest.  We scatter all sorts of nuts and seeds for the birds, mice, skunks, raccoons and other animals.  Mrs. Coyote always gets several very large, thick steaks that we leave a little ways from her den, and I always leave a large pile of shelled hazelnuts and pecans outside of Mrs. Rose's den...she just adores them. 

On our way back to our Christmas-filled cottage, we always sit down for a while on a large, comfortable rock and just listen to the wind (which hopefully won't be quite as wild as it is right now) and look up at the black, black sky filled with thousands of brilliantly sparkling, icy points of light. 

When we get back from our walk through the silent, star-lit forest, we'll have hot chocolate and cookies in front of the fire. The cats, both our inside family and our outside family of feral cats, will have their usual warm, before-bed-meal along with some special treats for Christmas Eve. 

Blessings to everyone...many, many blessings.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Scratches vs. Love


Every time I look at the snowman on the table I smile.  He just has that sort of face. 

Rita is more intrigued by the candle.  Yes, my cats get on the table.  I don't let them in the kitchen because, thank goodness, it has a door that closes!  But, a good scrubbing, and a clean tablecloth or placemat take care of any germs before we sit down to eat a meal, so I don't really worry about them getting on the table.  After thirty six years of this, the poor table is pretty scratched.  I don't worry about that either.  Each scratch, every gouge, is a reminder of beloved pets who are no longer with us. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice


The shortest day, longest night of the year.  After today, the Northern Hemisphere days will become, little by little, longer, lighter.  But this excerpt from "The Solstice Wreath" by Sandra Michaelson Brown expresses a bit of how I feel about what humans are doing to our earth and what so many humans have allowed their spirits to become:

"A vital light is missing from the world, by which I mean
that ephemeral gold that spins the seen and unseen worlds together. 

In my life I don't expect to see a springtime swelling
of the shriveled nuts so many spirits have become.  What's to be done?

This is the winter solstice of an age,
although the season's worst is yet to come.
What's delicate and true has come undone:
Is the only fitting answer
a pure and focused rage?"

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What Was I Thinking?


"Are you nuts, Mom?  You want me to move so you can put presents under here?  Think about that for a minute...all that paper that feels so good to our paws, shiny ribbons beckoning...sitting here for four days and nights.  You really think we could resist that for more than 10 minutes?  Make that one minute for Lucy.  Now, you still want me to move?"

Uh, no, Malcolm.  What was I thinking?  I guess I just got a little delusional there for a moment...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Oh, How I Wish...


...That my front walkway looked like this right now!  The candy canes, whose tops are just visible above the snow, are four feet high.  There was two and a half to three feet of snow on the ground when I took this in December of 2008.  Right now there's no snow, and it doesn't look like we'll get any snow (or rain) by Christmas.  Oh, well...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordy Birdies


"Hey, lady.  Yeah, you...you with the camera.  Put it down and fill the feeders.  What do you think you're here for, anyway?  To take photos?  NO.  You're here to feed us.  So, fill the feeders."

 
"Well, don't just stand there, get going!  Don't make us go all Hitchcock Birds on you."

I reply, "If you do that there will be no more seeds, no more nuts, no more suet cakes....EVER."


"Not ever? Hmmmm...."


"How's this?  This is my best side, don't you think?  Don't hurry, I'll hold the pose, no problem.  Hey, you guys up there, cooperate!" 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Done!


In the studio, anyway.  Of course, it's always decorated for Christmas/Winter in the studio, so it's always done.  Notice I'm not showing you my work area.  That's because it's a mess...like it usually is.  I think the last time it was absolutely pristine like this:


was in 2012, which is when this photo was taken.  I had to clean it really well because that was the year I participated in "Where Bloggers Create" blog party.  (You can see the whole post by scrolling to the bottom of the page.  The buttons for the blog parties that I participated in are all there).

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Quote For Monday


"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?"  J. B. Priestly

We got a dusting of snow day/night before yesterday.  It's gone now, but the weather people are predicting a little more for this Wednesday.  I wonder if we'll ever have a real snowstorm (three or four feet over a couple of days) again.  We used to get those kind of storms three or four times a winter, in between snowfalls of just a couple of inches.  I miss them.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Sunsets


Taken in early January of 2011 from somewhere in the San Bernardino Valley.  I think palm trees are some of the oddest looking trees...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Keeping Promises


This storm really kept its promises!  We got over six inches of rain, which made the creek very happy.  If the storms will keep coming like this, soon those rocks will be under water and the lakes will fill back up.  This was a typical Southern California storm: Howling gale force winds and rain coming down in buckets in a very short period of time.

Sadly, in some areas where there were fires in the previous five years, there were mudslides and some homes were damaged.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.

It's snowing here now. :) :) :)  It's supposed to snow lightly all night, but I don't know if it will last through tomorrow since it's supposed to be partly sunny with a high of 40 F.  If I get up early enough, I'll try to get some photos. 

Five hundred feet up the mountain in Big Bear, six inches of fresh powder fell, which is great for the ski resort and the merchants of Big Bear.  We mountain folk depend on tourists and skiers to keep our economy healthy.  These past three years of drought have made our economy pretty unhealthy and, more importantly to me, the forest is really suffering from the dry conditions.  So, here's hoping that we get lots more rain and snow this winter!

(Added at11:05 p.m. - I was just watching the news.  There was a tornado in
South Los Angeles!!!  Not a big one, thank goodness, but it did some damage.  Too weird...)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday's Winding Road


I took this in the spring of 2013.  Last spring, things looked just as dry.  The storm that's in Northern California right now is supposed to travel down here by early Friday morning.  The weather people are predicting snow levels down to the 6,000 foot level in Southern California but I'm betting it will be a lot higher, like around 9,000 feet and up, because this storm is coming from Hawaii.  The weather people call it "The Pineapple Express" when the storms come from this direction, and I can't ever remember low snow levels with these storms.  But...I sure hope they're right on the amount of rain that's supposed to fall.  They're saying up to eight inches.  The lakes, which are shrinking incredibly fast, could really use it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wasting Time


The more I stared at this photo, the more things I saw in it.  Faces, birds, pearls, eyes, lace, faeries...

When the water in the bird bath gets frozen on top, sometimes I can lift it out like a giant plate, sometimes it comes out in pieces.  Either way, I drop them on the ground on top of the layer of pine needles and leaves and wait for the sunlight to be at the angle I want, then I take the photo.  And then I stare and stare at the photos after I've uploaded them to my computer.  Uber-lame, I know...I just can't help myself!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Quote for Monday


"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."  W.T. Ellis

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Little Further Along...


On the road to Christmas.  I've got the garland and the mantle done...

A closer look at the mantle decorations.  The little houses in the wreath belonged to my grandmother and are over 100 years old, while the ornament at the bottom of the wreath belonged to my mother.  I don't put them on the tree anymore because the young cats are just too good at climbing the tree and getting to the ornaments.  I'll have to use the same unbreakable plastic ornaments that I bought last year again this year on the tree, but I sure miss all my glass ornaments that I've collected since I was a child.  Maybe next year...


The Christmas Faery is zipping around, teasing the cats.  The cats keep begging her to sprinkle them with some Faery Dust so they can fly, but all she does is bop them lightly on their heads with her candy cane...thank goodness!  Can you imagine?  Flying cats...nothing would be safe!

Friday, December 5, 2014

And Again...


Not even close.  I couldn't get a photo of tonight's full moon because it's still cloudy here (no more rain though, rats).  This is a photo I took in August of 2013, and the moon isn't full in this photo.  But, I did like juxtaposition of the moon (eternal) and the jet (modern, transitory).  Also, the sun is setting behind me, but you can only tell that by looking at the photo below.


Left click on it...the moon really is there!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Not Even Close


Decorating is proceeding very slowly.  I wanted to be done by Thanksgiving - ha ha ha ha ha!  That didn't happen.  Sigh...I'm going to have to be stern with myself and get busy.  I've got the garland up around the living room and it's decorated, but that's about the only thing that's done.  The tree has the lights on it, but not one ornament yet, unless you count the cats zipping up and down and around in it.  Not a card addressed, not a cookie baked, not a present wrapped.  But...I am done with the Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Liquid Blessings


It's been raining since 6:30 this morning!  A gentle, steady, soaking, life-giving real rain, not just a misting or a few minutes of hard rain that never soaks into the ground.  It's still raining as I write this at nearly 11:00 p.m.  In addition to the sound of the rain (oh, is there any sound more beautiful?) I can hear the joyous laughter of water in the creek as it flows down to the lake!  That's a sound I haven't heard in nearly two very long years.  Amazingly, for a California mountain rainstorm, there is no wind, so the feral kitties who won't get into their houses with the others, but insist in sleeping on the blanket-padded chairs on the porches, are staying warm and dry.  I'm going to fall asleep to the sound of the rain and the creek, and I think I will sleep well tonight, something else that I haven't done in a long time. 

Bliss...

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Quote for Monday


"Rosa Parks was a woman of strength, conviction and morality.  Her action on December 1, 1955, to defy the law made her a leading figure in our nation's civil rights history."  John Shimkus

(Photo from Pinterest)
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