Beautiful Spring

I’ve shared a lot on baking for my past few posts. It’s something that I do on a regular basis…when it’s cold outside. But with warmer weather, I’m feeling the pull to be outside. Not to work as I once did…laying sidewalk, building rock walls, digging ponds…but just enjoying. I haven’t even mowed lawn this year. My husband has been keeping up with that pretty well. It’s a two-day job with our push mower. At this writing, I haven’t even planted my hanging baskets or pots for our front porch. That was typically a Mother’s Day goal.

What I’m feeling today is writing. I haven’t worked on my book in two months, and I’m being crushed by the weight of getting it done! With a writer’s meeting this Thursday, the weight is heavier.

I don’t like unfinished projects. But I’m not very good about completing one before I start another. My mind is always bouncing from one thing to the next. There is probably medication for that, and it would probably help my family and friends deal with me better. 😉 But I do like to live in the moment and feel everything! My editor not only edits my books but keeps me reined in when I think of another book to write. Which circles back to the weight of getting this third book in my series done.

Everything beautiful! A sunny, spring day with flowers! Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

I found the above picture when I was looking through Pixabay pictures for a comment on Facebook. It made me think of my writer friend Julane Hiebert. https://www.amazon.com/Julane-Hiebert/e/B017QGX5X4?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1652806690&sr=1-1 When I go to her house for our writer’s meeting, a bicycle with flowers in the basket lets you know you are at the right place. It always makes me smile and think of Julane and being Julane. She’ll get that statement.

So back to writing, so I have something to share at the meeting on Thursday. I hope your spring is going well, and that there’s beauty, sunshine, and maybe a bicycle with flowers in the basket for your Tuesday!

P.S. The header picture is from: Image by jplenio from Pixabay

In Miniature

All my life I have absolutely loved miniature anything. If it came packaged smaller, I was a huge fan. This included miniature horses, baby mice, fairy gardens, and of course doll houses. They make me smile!

When our youngest daughter showed me this site when it first began, I was just enthralled. I wondered…why? But I have spent way more time than I should watching these little cooking shows, and feeling my hands cramp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSI836Zu-vE

I included the one above because it is a tiny gingerbread house. At one time I made these every Christmas, and it fascinated me to watch this itsy-bitsy construction.

Photo by JillWellingon – Pixabay

Many years ago a friend shared using graham crackers for the construction instead of the gingerbread, and it really changed it for me. It was much less prep work, and easier to assemble. But a true gingerbread house…no. If I made one this year for Christmas, I would use the graham crackers. By the time you have it decorated, who sees the siding anyway? 😉

But, back to this post.

I love miniature items, and my favorite are mice. I don’t know why I feel an affinity to mice, but I do. No, I do not want them in my house, and if I saw one I would probably scream and jump on something to get me away from their scurrying little body. But when they look like this…they are adorable.

Photo by Marigard – Pixabay

Or this…

Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

I know, some may argue that mice wearing clothes isn’t really done, but they are adorable.

When a friend shared this on Facebook, I knew I had to include it in a post. It is miniature, and there are tiny rabbits living in a cute little house, they are wearing clothes, and there is music. And the tiny mice are ice-skating. It just doesn’t get any better for me!

As you prepare for Christmas this year. Take a moment to watch this video. It will put a smile on your face.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9AU0gUGum

The English Language

My brother-in-law shared this poem on Facebook a couple days ago. At one time I really enjoyed poetry, and I read it a lot. I even tried writing it, but didn’t feel the pull as I do with writing books. I really enjoyed this poem, and it’s so very true when it comes to the English language. Enjoy!

English Pronunciation Poem 


I take it you already know

of tough and bough and cough and dough.

Others may stumble, but not you,

On hiccoughthoroughlough and through.

Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,

To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word

That looks like beard and sounds like bird.

And dead – it’s said like bed, not bead.

For goodness sake, don’t call it deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat.

They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

moth is not a moth in mother,

Nor both in botherbroth in brother,

And here is not a match for there,

Nor dear and fear for pear and bear.

And then there’s dose and rose and lose

Just look them up — and goose and choose.

And cork and work and card and ward.

And font and front and word and sword.

And do and go, then thwart and cart.

Come, come I’ve hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive,

I’d mastered it when I was five!

Quoted by Vivian Cook and Melvin Bragg 2004, by Richard Krogh, in D Bolinger & D A Sears, Aspects of Language, 1981, and in Spelling Progress Bulletin March 1961, Attributed to T S Watt, 1954. 

I’ve shared the above poem and credits from this site: https://www.speechactive.com/english-pronunciation-poem/

A Little Helper

This post is for animal lovers, and cats in particular.

If you love cats, I’m fairly certain you’ve been exasperated by one as well. They have a way of growing on you, inserting their little personalities into your life…and then have you scratching your head as to why you’re sharing your home with them. That statement right there is part of the problem. It isn’t your home, it’s theirs.

I posted almost four years ago about some kittens that my husband found at the Transfer Station. It’s a neat story, and brings me to tears every time I read it. Happy ending of course!

Two of those three kittens made their home with us. Now they are big cats, with personalities to go with it. The furniture is theirs, the kitchen counters, and my desk. We have some birds that made their home along the eaves of our house, just above the windows where I write. So of course, it was terrible of me to put my desk area in the cat’s space for bird watching. This is my little helper most mornings.

Her name is Callie. She can be a sweetheart, especially with her mother, our youngest daughter, Catherine. But don’t engage her in something she doesn’t want to do. Taking her from my desk when she’s sitting on my keyboard can be dangerous.

Callie is very social, eating meals with us. She’s sits on the long bench at our dining table, usually next to Catherine. Her little head pokes over the top of the table, her eyes blinking, giving us love. Sometimes the paws come up so she can get a better view. If you try to remove her, you could be bitten as my husband experienced a few days ago. She’s quick! She certainly keeps the grandchildren on their toes. They usually give her a wide berth when she’s sitting somewhere giving them the eye.

This is Callie checking the time before her shower.

Feonie is Callie’s sister. Her demeanor is a little better. She loves neck snuggles, and isn’t so quick to strike out. But lately she gets in a bad mood and will give Catherine the eye. This began after Catherine put them on a little diet. Instead of having their dry food out all the time, they now have meals. Neither cat is liking the new routine. It’s making them a bit cranky.

Feonie spends much of her day in the little cat bed at my feet, curled into a tight ball. She appreciates a little petting every now and then. Feonie has taken to playing with the water running down the shower curtain after we take showers. This began about a month ago. Two shower curtains later we are draping it over the faucet. Cat claws and plastic don’t fair well. My light-blocking curtains can attest to that as well!

There are days I regret very much sharing my home with cats. The mornings I get up to find a broken glass and water on the floor from playtime on the counters during the night. The days that the cats choose to fight and chase one another across the counter with my just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie bars cooling. The times when we’d really like to sit in a certain chair, but it’s taken for a cat nap…by an actual cat.

I prefer cats over dogs. Always have. Someday I vow to not have any animals in the house. We’ll see. There are always pictures such as these that make them hard to resist.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Our oldest titled her pictures of their Christmas decorating with those words. It reminded me that it always has been for me, and it really is this year.

When our children were small, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was our day to decorate. I wanted the most time possible to have decorations up and displayed. Some of you may recall that in Christmases past, many people did not decorate until Christmas Eve. Some even set up their tree that night as a way to surprise children in the morning. Talk about no sleep the night before! But, it would be rather magical to be a child and get up, seeing all the decorations and presents. In our house, Santa Claus was a fun concept. We visited him at the malls, our second oldest absolutely terrified on one video we have. But our children knew that he did not bring the presents, even if we joked about it on Christmas Eve as a way to get them to bed and sleep. We were more diligent about teaching them the act of giving to others, and buying gifts for others. At least I hope that was the end result!

This is the first year in a couple that we actually have our decorations up! It was on Sunday, but we are enjoying them now. And that makes me happy! We even have lights outside this year. We have an entire month to enjoy the sparkle, color, and coziness of the Christmas season. And I’m looking forward to it!

Here are a few pictures to share.

Christmas at our house, 2020

 

Now for some cold weather and snow to really set the mood! Have a great day, and a Blessed Christmas Season!

What Child is This

Classical guitar has always been one of my favorite to listen to. This arrangement reminds me of a place called The Carrot Barn in Schoharie, New York. They always had beautiful music such as this playing while you browsed the antiques, clothing, and even sampled a few goodies. It has grown a lot since we were regular visitors back in the 1980’s. You may visit Schoharie Valley Farms right here: http://www.schoharievalleyfarms.com/index.php

I love classical guitar so much, that my husband gave me one for my birthday about 25 years ago. No, I never did learn to play it. After a few times of trying, I gave up and decided to really appreciate those that could play! It is an art form, and I really enjoyed this arrangement for that reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPRFk8sLIPw

The Hill Country

For a few years, we lived in Texas. Our two girls were small, under five years old at the time. We started out in San Antonio, and then moved north to Round Rock. By the time our son was born in San Marcos, we were living just outside of Lockhart, Texas. And this was our view across the road from our house, in the springtime.

bluebonnets-4472789_1920

My husband didn’t take this picture, but it is so similar to ones he did take, right down to the barbed wire fence. Around April, the fields would be covered in rolling waves of bluebonnets…and they were gorgeous!

There were so many things that I really enjoyed about Texas. Our time in San Antonio taught us to love Tex-Mex. One of our favorite places to eat was Taco Cabana. At the time they had a fantastic deal on fajitas, and we enjoyed them…a lot. Our little girls weren’t big eaters then. So those fajitas went a long way for our little family.

We spent time on the River Walk. It was beautiful to see during the Christmas season! Lights sparkling around every little turn. The music, the people, and general joy of the season was invigorating and addictive. Check out this little preview of this special place:  https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/

Of course you can’t go to San Antonio and not visit The Alamo, which it is commonly called.  It was originally known as the Misión San Antonio de Valero.  I was shocked to see it located in the middle of everything. The pictures you normally see make it seem as though it’s in the country. San Antonio has several missions that are worth your time to check out. There is just something about walking around a place that has been such a scene, and vital part of history. For me, walking into The Alamo for the first time was pretty emotional. The walls seem to breathe all that had happened within them. There was a general hush as I know many of the visitors were experiencing the same feeling.

When we lived in Round Rock, we traveled every day to Austin on I-35. Our apartment was very close to that interstate. My husband worked in Austin and we attended church there several times a week. The interstate was busy, and the drivers a bit on the wild side, but nothing like what I have heard of today. In the early ’90’s, there was still a bit of country between Austin and Round Rock, with little places like Pflugerville along the way. I was curious about the census for Pflugerville during the time we lived in the area. It was 4,444 in 1990. The 2018 Census estimate is 64,431. Wow! That’s a lot of growth!

For us, even in the early ’90’s the Austin/Round Rock area was a little expensive and busy. So we moved to the Lockhart area, living a bit on the outskirts. I have fond memories of our time there as well. Our son was born there, our two oldest daughters began their school years there, and we learned about fire ants in the yard. Not a great place to leave your children unattended! Lockhart has a gorgeous courthouse.  I don’t know why, but I was never inside the courthouse, and I wish I had taken the time to see it. http://www.caldwellcountyhistoricalcommission.org/ We were very surprised that many, many movies have been filmed in that area.  We first realized this when we were watching, Where the Heart Is.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbzcodGsaRs. We recognized some of the buildings and the landscape. Lockhart is also known for barbecue. This website has some fantastic information on the area, and says it much better than I. https://austinot.com/lockhart-texas-day-trip.

This post has been a little different for me. I don’t usually do a travel brochure-type of post. But it has been fun to check out the sites I’ve shared with you all here. It’s brought back some great memories, and made me want a road trip to Texas sometime in the near future!

Another take-away I have of Texas in the early ’90’s was the pride of the Texans for their state, and the hospitality of the people there. After living in upstate New York and the Hudson Valley area of that state, Texas was a culture shock. I wasn’t use to strangers coming up to me in the grocery store and wanting to know what I was fixing for dinner that night. This seriously happened a couple times. I had never just chatted in the grocery store aisles about recipes. And when you think about it…what better place to do it? Not to mention that Texas drawl just kind of glides over you like maple syrup on a hot day!

And all of the above because I was thinking about Texas bluebonnets! Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Tiny Houses…

Intrigue me. Anything miniature has always given me a thrill. I find them adorable. For a while, it was mice. No, I don’t particularly like a mouse running through my domain. But cute pictures of them, and their babies are pretty special.

The little toad house in the picture above makes me smile. For a couple of years, I had a fairy garden. No, I don’t believe that fairies come to live there, but it is fun to imagine. I have several resin houses that I repainted that I set up in the garden. There were white picket fences, little table and chairs. Even little cakes and plates to eat on. I built a little pond with a lighthouse and boat. Miniature frogs sat at the edge. From this pond trickled a little brook. I absolutely loved this little oasis! But, alas, the English ivy and periwinkle have made the area a jungle, and I don’t have the heart to pull it all out. So, the houses and necessities for fairy living are packed in the garage, waiting for a new home.

So of course I love the idea of a tiny house! I’ve always wanted a little place to go and write. I would make it very girly… shades of pink and white with roses everywhere. Rather like an English cottage. Chintz would be the fabric of choice. White shutters over the windows…on the inside, to close out the hot, afternoon sun, and a comfy chair to snuggle in. I would enjoy a little white stove for cold or rainy days. Building it myself would be rather fun, and decorating would be pure joy!

I’ve shared Luke’s videos here before. I support people and their talents whenever I’m able. And I certainly think Luke should be supported with his talents! He builds his tiny houses, and this video takes you on a tour of one in a very engaging, fun way. He has lots of energy! So enjoy the tour…I think it will put a smile on your face! Have a terrific Thursday!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GUiZtvNFvc&feature=em-subs_digest