Wonderful winter...something that's been missing in these mountains more often that not in the past several years. I took this photo in 2008, and I have my fingers crossed that there will be another snowfall like the one pictured before this Christmas.
I've been using a lot of shatter-proof ornaments in recent years, along with a few that have a great deal sentimental meaning.
This little crystal angel is also a bell. She was given to me by my mother for my first tree in my first apartment.
These little mittens were made for me by a dear friend. We've been friends since I was three years old. She moved to Alaska in 1971, but we've managed to remain close always, friends for 64 years!
The heart ornament was painted for me my by my sister several years ago. I miss her so much.
The little wooden "candles" were made by my husband in 1996. He used dowels for the candles and red pipe cleaners for the "flames," then dripped thick, white gesso down the sides for the "wax." It just isn't Christmas until these candles are on the tree!
I went out for a walk early this morning. The air was wonderful, so crisp and cold, and lots of clouds were around.
I noticed many little cedar trees growing. So cheering. The clouds quickly filled the sky, so I started for home. It even sprinkled a little!
I'm still decorating our cottage and, as I placed this Santa on the mantel, I remembered today is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas, or Nicholas of Myra, is the real-life man that the figure of Santa Claus is based on. Nicholas inherited a great deal of wealth, but spent none of it on himself. Instead, he used all of it for charitable acts. One such act was giving dowry money to three young women so that they could be married, instead of being sold into prostitution by their despicable father. He is the patron saint of the poor, children, women, sailors, glass makers, fire fighters, prostitutes, fishermen, scholars...just about everyone!
Horribly windy here today, but the winds make for a beautiful, bright blue sky. Pretty cold, too, our high was only 36 F. Good thing there were lulls in the blowing, otherwise these trees would be even more blurry than they are. It's kind of scary to see a pine that's nearly 200 feet tall swaying in the wind like a little cedar sapling!
It's my favorite month of the year. The villagers are already having fun in Mouseford Falls (a little village that I set up every year in my kitchen window). I have a lot of favorite quotes about December, but the one that probably fits the best is this one:
"It's December and nobody asked if I was ready" Sarah Kay
Most of the autumn leaves have fallen now, although a few oaks here and there are hanging on to some leaves.
On my way to my studio, I noticed that some of the leaves on this ivy plant were turning red! It's been hanging in the same place for about 5 years now and the leaves have always been green. I hope this doesn't mean it's got some sort of disease.
It's been really cold up here with lows at night in the twenties. On the 27th we got a little bit of rain and a sprinkle of snow. Only a half inch, but it's all welcome.
Last week, I made a card for a friend. I've just started to get into card making. So far, I'm loving it. It's a nice change from painting, and very relaxing.
It rained last night! We received a little over an inch of rain...not a drought breaker, but it's all important. The ski resorts received a couple of inches of snow, probably not enough to last through the Thanksgiving weekend, but they've been making snow so the runs are good.
The colors are always intensified after rain, and I think a cloudy day makes them even more brilliant.
Everything got a good washing.
It was lovely walking through the damp, cool air today. Even the fallen leaves and pine needles had extra color.
On the north side of the mountains the clouds were chasing each other.
On the south side of the mountains the sun was peeking through.
Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, drat it. The clouds never stay long enough these days...
There are clouds around, but they're not giving any rain to parched California. I think the air is so dry the rain is evaporating before it can even reach the ground, a weather phenomenon that's referred to as Virga. This photo was taken looking south-east from Highway 18 towards the San Jacinto mountain range in the far distance.
Relentless blue California sky...I wish it would rain.
I feel a little better after finding out that Hillary won the popular vote by over 400,000 votes. But, once again, the will of the people has been trashed by the Electoral College. That's a mess that needs to be cleaned up.
My brother, Jack, served on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II. Thank you, dearest brother...and thank you, men and women everywhere who have fought on the side of the good, for our freedom.
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
Miss Sunni, a Grey Squirrel
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Mountain Lion
A Black Bear
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
Courage, dear heart ~ C.S. Lewis
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
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.
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Care for a cuppa?
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
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"
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
I live in a little cottage with my furry "children" in a beautiful mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, clear lakes, rain, snow, tea, the moon, and creating all kinds of art.