On Christmas morning the kitties get their stockings...
Well, the contents of the stockings.
They used to get the entire stocking, but it's expensive replacing stockings each year.
Also, cat-sized Christmas stockings are hard to find, and replacing them each year didn't allow for a continuation of tradition. They all reveled in the catnip stuffed, squeaking faux mice...
For five, brief minutes.
Then they went back to playing with their, apparently, favorite toys.
The plastic rings from the milk bottles!
They play with these things 24/7, 365. Mom and Dad Santa thought they'd love their catnip squeaky mice. Not forever, but we sure thought the new toys would hold their attention for longer than five minutes!
And Santa figurines (there are lots more that aren't in this photo)
And, of course, ornaments...
The pink bell is nearly as old as the blue glass ornament (hanging from the wreath in the photo of the animals on the mantle). Grandma Edwards gave my mother a set of four to give to me three months before I was born.
My husband and I bought this one for our second Christmas together. We had one from 1977 but that one met it's end at the paws of a cat around 1983.
And this darling little squirrel is the newest. She came to live with us this December.
Well. There was just an earthquake here. The news said it was a 4.3 centered in Devore, which is to the south west of here. And an aftershock just now...I hate these things! Boy, they feel like they're really close to the surface. I think the tree would have fallen over if we hadn't already wired it to the ceiling to stop the cats from knocking it over, it was such a sharp, strong jolt. California...I'm thinking seriously of severing our relationship! (Update, aftershock was 3.8).
It's very cold here today, and the wind sighing through the tall pines and cedars makes it even colder. All the decorating is done. Cookies baked, fudge made, presents wrapped. It feels like it could start snowing any minute, and that is what the weather people are predicting for tonight. I hope they're right, even if it makes getting to midnight mass a little tricky. I wish everyone a peace-full, joy-filled Christmas. ♥
When I set the teapot, plate of cookies and cup down on the little tea table by the fire, it looked so pretty I thought I'd take a photo. Well. I couldn't find my camera anywhere in the house, so I trudged out to my studio. There it was, right where I'd left it. By the time I got back to the house and the fire and the tea, someone had stolen one of my cookies!
Penelope (on the left) is doing her best to look completely innocent, while Merlin is disposing of the last of the evidence. Oh, well. The tea was good, anyway...
And so the shortest day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow white world
Came people singing, dancing
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees,
They hung their homes with evergreen,
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule. ~ Susan Cooper
I kept seeing these pesky lights when I was photographing a cute chickadee...
Little blobs of orange, or gold or red light...
How strange! Were there chickadee assassinating squirrels lurking around with laser scopes on their tiny rifles? Were there radioactive bugs flitting around? Were they minuscule alien space ships? Had I hit my head really hard on something and didn't realize it???
They didn't show up in this photo.
I finally realized, after amusing myself with a couple of other ridiculous reasons for the lights, that they were reflections of Christmas tree lights on the window that I was shooting through, and they didn't show up in the photo of the Steller's Jay because I shot that one from a different angle. But, now I can't get the image of gun toting squirrels stalking through the trees out of my head....
Is that the Ghost of Christmas Past haunting the carolers? ;o
The walls of this house are actually cream colored...
The home owner must have used a different type of light on the right...it's the only area on the lower level of the house that didn't skew green! I took several exposures of this, changing the settings on my camera for each one, but the false green color was in all of them.
And...is that a buffalo wearing a Santa hat? I didn't really see it when I was taking the photo, and I still can't tell for sure after looking at the photo...
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Young Steller's Jay
Common to high altitude forests all over the west
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Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~~ Albert Einstein
June Is Adopt a Cat Month
But, there are always strays who need a loving home - so don't shop, ADOPT! Click the photo for helpful tips on adopting.
If they breathe, they live. If they live, they feel. If they feel, they love. If they love, they are aware. If they are aware, they have a soul. ~ Williams
I love cats because I enjoy my home and, little by little, they become its visible soul ~ Jean Cocteau (That's Malcolm O'Mewy on the chair)
Feed the Hungry
I think we are bound to, and by, Nature. We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world, but every time there's a snowstorm or drought we know our fate is tied to the world around us. ~~ Alice Hoffman
What I'm Reading Now:
Give a Child a Book
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
A person who collects or is fond of books. Also, a person who immediately feels safe, happy, even euphoric, when holding a favorite book.
Care for a cuppa?
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir, from "The California Mountains"
I'm three-quarters Native American (Oglala Sioux and Cherokee), and one-quarter Northern Italian. I live in a little cottage with my husband and our furry "children" in a beautiful, high altitude, California mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, rain, snow, tea, the moon, creating all kinds of art...and, I'm proud to be a Crone ~ I never thought I'd make it!