Monday, December 31, 2007

How quickly the year has passed! I succeeded in my goal of a photo-a-day, and then some! I started the first day of the year with a sunrise-from-my-deck photo, and so will finish with a sunset-from-my-deck photo. It was clear and fairly warm today, after a couple of weeks of cold and rain.

Cory taking my picture taking Cory's picture!

I have had the best time with this blog - I started it not really knowing what I was going to do with it. As it turned out, I didn't "do" anything - I just "was". I've learned a lot about photography, nature, seeing, and just being. Looking for places to shoot has taken me out when I would have rather stayed in, forced me to go places I might not have gone. I've begun to look at everything in a different way - not how I see it at a glance, but how it really looks. I've learned more than I can put into words, but I'll keep trying.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Here is my blue tableau upstairs in my office. The wire baskets and kitties stay on the dresser top all year, and I found all the blue ornaments stashed away and forgotten. The deer had been banished from the downstairs decorations, so he's happy to be here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Haven't been down in the woods for a while - days are so short, and weather so nasty! It felt good to get out and stretch my legs. Came across this odd fungus - firm to the touch, but translucent, growing on a tipped-over alder tree. I haven't seen anything like this before! And, growing on a tipped-over willow, tenacious shoots straight up to the light. Willows certainly keep growing in whatever position they land, and are the backbone of our swamp, with new growth on the old trunks.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Just when we thought it was over, someone did it again, spinning around in the lawn! This time they dug pretty deep, spitting mud, grass and rocks. In a surprise move, the kid who got caught last week came up to the house and talked to David. He apologized, and explained that everyone thought the property belonged to the county (still not a good idea to do this!), and it was indeed the first time he had done it. David told him that we didn't want to press any charges, but asked him to tell all his buddies to stop, and spread the word. The deputies are going to be keeping a close eye out, too, but they said the best way to stop it is have the word go out. OK - here's hoping this time they'll stop!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday Art day. It was one of those lazy kind of days - not much got done, but there were several books and magazines to look at, and fun to be had! Janet, Audrey, Jamie, Gretchen and Carol. Andy was sitting next to me, out of the photo. I got all of my photos cropped for the next Elements book, Fire. They'll be sent off tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This is a wooden serving board that I got for David - it was made by a local woodworking artist. Of course I don't have his name handy - I'll find it! Beautiful work!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Quiet, relaxed day. This time of year is a time of rebirth; the days will now begin to get longer, the nights shorter. We conserve our energy to prepare for the new year. I model my new clothes, from my sister Kathy. Very comfortable, slimming, and a cool color. Thanks! My expression is goofy because the camera was sitting low, and I was looking up too high. Oh, well...

Monday, December 24, 2007

The aftermath! We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner, then opened presents. Clean up in the morning! Mary Anne and Barb are amazed at David's silicone pot holders. Barb and David are wearing the neck warmers that Barbara made for everyone - you can heat them in the microwave, and the heat eases your tensions.
Of course, not everyone was serious. Barbara cracks up when Cory wears his neck warmer as bunny ears.
And I'm wearing mine, showing the hummingbird ornament that Cory got for us. It was a nice evening, and now we can relax tomorrow.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Cheer! Each year we make a cranberry liqueur, and it's such a pretty color. We found little decanters at the thrift store - makes a lovely gift. And a fun holiday photo with the green cookies.
Buzz relaxes under the tree.
Well, we had some excitement last night! Got a call around 11 pm - please come down to the bottom of your driveway. We had no idea what it was, but found this going on in the road. It turns out that after we called the sherriff about the trucks spinning around in our lawn area, the deputy had a slow night so decided to stake it out. And, sure enough, this truck came and spun around right in front of the deputy. I think that made his day! He arrested the driver for malicious mischeif, no driver's license, no registration, no insurance, and under the influence. He came from a party at the neighbor's house, and most of the partygoers drove by and watched him get arrested. Of course, he said that he hadn't done any of the previous damage! So we're hopefull that this will stop anybody else from doing it, too! Yee Haw!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's cookie day! I corralled David's unsuspecting friends, who thought they came over to watch the football game, into decorating some of the cookies. They were pretty funny, and I think behind all the complaining, that they actually enjoyed it! As you can see, they did a great job!
David, Russ and Blair, and the fruits of their labor!
We've been having some trouble with kids (or someone) driving circles around the lawn area. It is annoying, but David would fill in the ruts and go ahead and mow the grass. But last night they really made a mess, spraying mud out into the road. This area is 1/4 mile from our house, so we can't hear them. We decided to call the sheriff's office, who said there wasn't much they could do unless we caught them in the act. I had left my number with the nearest neighbor, who called tonight and said he thinks it might be his neighbor on the other side, so we reported that to the deputy, too. He might just stop by there and talk to him, we hope! Might be enough to make them stop. We'll see.

Friday, December 21, 2007

One of the gifts from Art group yesterday was these coasters from Janet. She made them from scraps of left-over material, sewing them to a backing like little quilts, then stitching over all of it with variegated threads. Very fun!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This Thursday was our art group party! Yay! Below we had someone take a photo of all of us, but I like the one above, showing us in a more normal mode.
It's very fun, as most of the gifts are handmade, or personally chosen. It's just as much fun to watch them open my gifts!
Jamie showed the candlesticks she painted. She's going to antique them, and finally apply a finish. She has large round candles to put on them. They're great!

I stopped at the Freeland Park on the way home, because the water was so smooth and calm, reflecting the moored sailboats. Of course, the wind picked up a little just as I got there, but you can see the calm water in the foreground. The scoters were diving, so it was a guessing game to catch one on the surface.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ah, Cory is 24 today! Grandma Barb treated him and me to dinner - here he is with his tiramasu (sp?) desert. Of course, no one wanted their picture taken!I remember his birth story. David and I were at a traveling holiday dinner party - a group of us went to one house for hors d'ourves, then to another for the salad, then the entree, and on to a dessert. I think the salad was at our house, and that was when I started feeling a bit odd - labor was just starting, but not the hard pains yet. So we went on to finish the courses, not telling anyone, and eventually returned home and went to bed. But by 1:00 am or so, it became obvious that we weren't going to get any more sleep, and we headed for the hospital. We stopped along the way at the viewpoint in Greenbank, it was a crystal clear starry night and very cold looking across the water to Port Townsend. At the hospital, we struggled through labor for a few hours, and Cory was born in the morning. It was an easy birth without complications, and two days later we all went home and celebrated the holidays. After Christmas, his Grandma Jean came to stay for a couple of weeks and help out. It was a long time ago, but it seems like yesterday! And now he's a handsome young man making his own way.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

" Watch where you step!" cries the seagull from safety on land.
"I know, I know - I can read!" replies the crow. "Looks like this isn't a good place for dinner after all!"
"I'm getting out of here!"

Took a break from work and had my lunch at the Freeland boat launch, conversing with the birds and their dilemmas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I had forgotten that I had stored decorations in the chest in my office, and I brought up a blue foil tree. Opening the drawers, I found them, and they are all in blue and silver. Perfect! Also lying in hiding was the deer statue with round candles on his antlers - a gift from a long ago Christmas that just didn't go with most of my decorations. But he works perfectly with this tableaux. I have it set up on the dresser with my wire baskets, which I filled with extra blue bulbs. The ceramic kitties keep an eye on everything.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

OK - so you're probably going to get tired of seeing my ornaments, but I just love each one. The heart was made for me by Cris after we took a make-it-and-take-it class at the Cinncinnati Convergence, where we made purple hearts. This is actually white material, it just appears dyed by the lights.
This odd photo is of a candle on a crystal candlestick, in front of a foil table top tree, both in front of the christmas tree. I was going for the reflections in the crystal, but look what I got instead!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Got the tree all decorated, and most of the house, too. The bottom photo is just the lights, and the top shows it all done, with Cris's angel on top. It may be a might uneven in spots, but we always like our unusual trees. Most of the ornaments are gifts, or handmade, or handmade gifts. My sisters and mother and I exchange ornaments every year, but we've decided lately that we all have enough, so we don't do as many any more.

Friday, December 14, 2007

David got our tree today - I just love having a live tree, and we usually have a "Charlie Brown" type, with lots of open space to hang the ornaments. This one will need a little trimming, and we have gotten in habit of securing the top to the ceiling with wire, just in case. So I'll be busy decorating tomorrow, as well as getting all the presents wrapped and packaged that need to go in the mail. I won't know what to do with all my time after that's all done! But I like to sit in the dark by the tree with my tea and just look at the lights. I don't know what it is about them, so colorful and pretty....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Audrey finished her quilt! She likes to make up the squares, then join them together. It's a fun quilt, and she had a good time working on it.

Weather has been unremarkable, typical for this time of year - cold, but not freezing, cloudy, but not raining, some wind here and there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Dance! The second book in the "Elements" series arrived in today's mail - "EARTH". It is as wonderful at "WATER" was - every time I look through it I see something new that I missed last time!
Here's the front cover, and below on the right is one of the pages I submitted.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Busy day today! First, I had a morning pot-luck to attend, and David volunteered to make stuffed french toast. So we got up early and made a cream cheese and huckleberry filling and made the french toast, and cooked down some more huckleberries for a sauce. They turned out yummy! The pot-luck was the Surface Design group's holiday party/meeting, and it was a good meeting and good food. Then down to the lab for a mammogram - I know they're neccessary, but not much fun!
Back home for a work meeting, then dinner and off to Book Club holiday meeting! We met at Bonnie's house, where she and Bob had worked their tails off decorating for us! It was so lovely, welcoming and warm. We had a great meeting discussing The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, which was a disturbing but rewarding read. Bonnie took our portait, and I got one of her and Ginger, who looks thrilled to be held for the photo. I tried to take more pictures of Ginger for Bonnie, but she wouldn't stand still for a second!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Early sun peeking through the boughs, glistening on the myriad dewdrops, or were they frozen just moments before? Mist hiding the further trees and ridges...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Working on gifties - these are for Cody's friends who made us a wonderful pumpkin-cheescake for Thanksgiving. They're little journals that I added pretty paper and photos to. The photos are of the girls, and the group one day when they were baking in our kitchen. Below is the inside front cover with a photo of the boys. Hope they like them!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It has cleared up again, so that means it's gotten colder - frosts at night, but sun during the day. On my walk today I found these tiny little black cups of fungus on a mossy log - the fir needles are less than an inch long, as a comparison. Cute little guys!