Goodbye 2013

Today is New Year’s Eve and the clock is clicking towards a new year! 

I have been shamelessly enjoying my days off by doing nothing.  I mean nothing but grocery shopping every few days and trying new recipes for my crockpot, doing the usual necessary chores around the apartment.  I’m dreading taking the tree down and packing up all of our decorations.  Will I do it tomorrow or Thursday? We shall see.

Today, I participated in a webinar for Capture Your 365 project by Katrina Kennedy and hosted by Lain Ehmann at Layout a Day.  I am looking for photographic inspiration and I am intrigued with the idea of a daily prompt to inspire me.  I have to hurry up and commit if I’m going to do this…stay tuned.

I also purchased a GREAT book by Scott Kelby – The Digital Photography Book: Part 1.  If I wasn’t married and Scott wasn’t married – but we are so I will just say I love his sense of humor that is very evident in this book.  I had to read Ray some excerpts and he thought they were funny too.

I made myself get off of the couch, out of the apartment door with Canon in hand.  I wanted to capture the beautiful wreaths that my neighbors hung on their doors this holiday before they get taken down.  Saying goodbye to this Christmas season in a beautiful finale:


My own door  was not as pretty with just a red bow.  But I love several of these!  Hope you enjoyed them too.

It has been a great year for me!  I celebrated my blog birthday on 12/12 very quietly thanks to my crazy time at work.  I have a little present for you tomorrow!  Yes, YOU, my dear friends – readers of my blog.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.


OLW {One Little Word}


You may not know of Ali Edwards if you aren’t a scrapbooker. She was my inspiration to do the December Daily project.  She’s amazing and inspires me to be more than I am.  A few years ago I embraced her One Little Word philosophy and I was happy to see her blog post today about it.   Read about it here.

A few years ago the word I chose (or perhaps it chose me) was WISDOM.  There were so many changes going on in my life and I needed to remember to think before speaking, look for answers and know that I couldn’t rush to fix or change things in my life or for my loved ones.  I also began collecting owls at that time – go figure {smile}.

Last year my word was FOCUS.  It applied to my love of photography and slowing down to make sure my settings were correct.  But to also apply that word to my struggles to pay attention to details {I’m not diagnosed with ADD but I swear I have it).  Focus on the positives.

This year I have chosen EnJOY.




1. take delight or pleasure in (an activity or occasion).

“Joe enjoys reading Icelandic family sagas”

Synonyms : likelove, be fond of, be entertained by, take pleasure in, be keen on, delight in, appreciaterelish, revel in, adore, lap up, savor, luxuriate in, bask in; More


2. possess and benefit from.

“the security forces enjoy legal immunity from prosecution”

Synonyms:  benefit from, have the benefit of;

be blessed with, be favored with, be endowed with, be possessed of, possessownboast

“she had always enjoyed good health”

December Daily – Day 23

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday!  Ray and I finished our Christmas shopping and I wrapped everything except his gifts.  Whew!  What a relief to have that behind me.  I’m going out to snag a few more stocking stuffers.  I’m also on a quest for a Santa hat to use as a tree topper.  How did I miss this idea before now?  Since my tree rotates a lot of toppers can look crooked but the hat will look just right as it circles.  Wish me luck finding one… 

One of my best presents ever - BUD

One of my best presents ever – BUD

Twinkle star lights!

Twinkle star lights!

I have been waiting to try this technique with the tree and am excited to share it with you today.  I read Katrina Kennedy’s blog and read about this here:

Capturing the magic of Christmas!  (Thanks Katrina Kennedy)

Capturing the magic of Christmas! (Thanks Katrina Kennedy)

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  I will be visiting family for the next few days and am taking these few days off from blogging.

Caught in my birthday suit…

If I were Queen of the Forest…

There’s a new Cat in the House and it’s ME!  Ray surprised me with this Pajama Party onesie for my birthday present!!!  It’s adorable and it’s complete with ears on the hoodie and paw prints on the feet.  Bud has been looking at me so strangely.  He kept running away as I walked towards him.  But we got him on the balcony with me for these shots.

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Bud couldn’t resist attacking my tail.

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I was blown away when I went online and saw THIS:  Thanks GOOGLE!

It’s going to be a GREAT DAY!

December {not so} Daily – Day 21


Work interrupted my daily.  I’m now on a 16 day hiatus {huge grin} YES!

Today I want to share some of my favorite Christmas songs.  I’ve already written about my love of Christmas and I’m so thankful my 25-CD player still works and it’s fully loaded with Christmas CD’s.  A quirky thing about me is that I don’t like to listen to anything but instrumental Christmas tunes from the day after Thanksgiving until close to Christmas.  Seriously.  The songs with words can seriously get on my nerves.   So I listen to Celtic Christmas instrumental lovelies or Mannheim Steamroller, the Peanuts Christmas cd is a fave along with some others.  But now it’s about regular Christmas Songs…starting NOW.

Here are some of my very fave songs in no particular order: WITH WORDS!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Barenaked Ladies with Sarah MacLachlan

The Prayer – Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli  (there are no words to describe how angelic this song is)

The Christmas Waltz-She & Him – saw them on Jay Leno and they were so good!

Just a Little Snow-Jeffrey Osborne  (very happy song that stays in my head) I’m jamming out to it right now.  Chair dancing.

The Holly and the Ivy-Natalie Cole  (simply beautiful)

Winter Wonderland-Jason Mraz  (Virginia boy sounds good!)

I always enjoy the traditional Christmas tunes sung by Nat King Cole, Frank, Dean, Burl too.

What are some of your favorites?

December Daily – but not every day


The Snow Lady

The Snow Lady

I grant myself permission to not stress over this project.  I went to two great shops yesterday in Downtown Suffolk.  Had a blast shopping for people that appreciate and love me while I stayed under budget, woot!  I had hoped to stop and grab some pics while I was out but as soon as I got back into the car the rains came.   So I came home to catch up on some rest instead.

Today I cleaned and did laundry.  Fun!  Then I realized I had not taken any photos this weekend.  Ugh.  I immediately lit up some of my snow people and grabbed the Canon.  I’m trying to stay with my nifty-fifty for most of this month but since I’m in a confined space it was a wee bit challenging.

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My mom gave me both of my beautiful lit snow peeps for birthday presents many years ago.  I treasure them.  I think I have enough snow people now.  I even downsized Christmas stuff when we moved here so I only kept my very favorite things.

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I’ve had to give up a lot of my belongings over the years due to a bitter divorce, financial chaos and downsizing.  Some people may not understand how that affected me.  It’s not about the STUFF but more about the memories of who gave that stuff to me, where I was when I purchased it or the hopes and dreams that I was building a life with furniture and knick knacks.  Very strong memories associated with belongings that’s just who I am.

I don’t think most men think the way I do (like most women).

  • A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.  George Carlin

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Today I’m just celebrating my cheerful little snow people.  Hoping for some white stuff after this week – gotta get those people their GED tests after all.

December Daily – Days 11, 12 and 13!


It was the worst of times and it was the VERY BEST of Times!  I’m experiencing life – the good, the bad and the ugly.  I’ve obviously found the right job when my heart is at times thrilled when someone finds out in front of me that they passed their GED test and when I wipe tears away when I have to tell them sadly that I/we can’t help them because we have no more math tests.

It’s been exhilarating and exhausting beyond words.  Hence, {yes I used it} I haven’t posted in a few days.  But that doesn’t lessen my Christmas Spirit.  I’m enjoying my décor, I delight in my tree and its festive lights each evening as I unwind with Ray.  Don’t tell anyone but I think the Snowmen and SnowLady might be jealous so they may be showing up soon.

I’ve picked  up my beloved Canon  and gotten several shots over the last few days but was too tired to post.  I even took it to the Mexican restaurant tonight to celebrate their beautiful decorations as well.  Capturing beauty while intoxicated may go against the grain but I persevered.

I also handed Canon to the owner since he asked to take one of Ray and me in front of their small tree.  I gladly switched to Auto and watched him back further and further away trying to capture most of our bodies…I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants!  {yep I said it}  The flash went off but when he handed it back to me there wasn’t a pic of us  so I laughed harder.  Depends were not needed but it was close, lol.

Someone asked for my wish list for Christmas and I gladly wrote one with some interesting Canon accessories.  I’m gonna have to wait to see if I’ve been naughty or nice.

I think about the 12 Days of Christmas when it turns December 13th.  Do you?  I’ve been enjoying listening to Mannheim Steamroller {love them and I heart brackets}… so here’s a youtube link for your listening pleasure.  I love this song especially!

Chauncy my cardinal

Jaunty cardinal

Some of the new "vintage"

Some of the new “vintage”

That's how I feel

That’s how I feel

Inside Santa Fe

Inside Santa Fe

Ceiling decor

Ceiling decor

LOVE the snowflakes

LOVE the snowflakes – ok out of focus



These photos make me happy especially with the snow falling on the blog.  I LOVE WORDPRESS!  Woot!