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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 2013 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Amazing, isn't it, to reach the last day of December 2013!   We had a wonderful family Christmas and are now ready to celebrate a Happy and Healthy 2014 - which I wish to you all as well:)

With thanks to greenthumb who sponsors these monthly challenges, I submit my December photos.  They will enlarge with a click.

1. Silver ~ with many glittery items abounding during this time of year, I decided to portray the simple silver cutlery in a restaurant where I enjoyed a bowl of clam chowder, salad, and garlic toast.

2.  25 ~ Instead of choosing a photo of the page number at the bottom of a Christmas Carol book, I found a photo of at least 25 Trumpeter swans.  You can count them if you wish ~  I stopped counting when I reached the magic number ;)

 3.  Christmas ~ I chose my small Christmas Cactus plant which, for the first time, really bloomed this year.

 4.  Religious icon - These two sweet little angels sit/recline religiously on my piano lamp base, as if they have nothing better to do than listen to me play ~ not even cringing when a note goes awry :)

...and then there is this one ....

5.  Shiny ~ For this photo, I chose Nikki's sparkling bracelet that she sent which was hanging on the tree amidst shiny ornaments ~

6.  Movement ~ I couldn't resist my little hummingbird for this category.  Although it does stop to rest occasionally, it seems to be mostly on the go ~ even through our freezing weather episode.

7.  Celebration -  A sunset to celebrate Winter Solstice! 

8.  Words ~ A poster advertising a Christmas chance to win a monetary sum!

9.  Recipe  - This is a recipe for double ginger crinkle cookies.  They are always a hit.  The touch of lemon drizzle on top adds a great flavour.  I usually plop a little piece of crystallized ginger on top of each cookie as well.

 10. Candles ~ on the wall near my fireplace.

11.  Window display.  The photo of this festively decorated window was taken on a drive through Chemainus, The Little Town that Did ~ hope you click on the link and the links provided on their site.

12.  Cake ~ A cranberry and orange cornbread cake up close and personal ~

and just so you know, you  can have your kayak and eat it too.... ;)

Who is going to jump in with me to 
January's List  2014

  1. J  is for ?
  2. 1pm
  3. Measurement
  4. Colour
  5. A corner
  6. Hats
  7. Stamp
  8. Looking down
  9. Crowd
  10. Natural
  11. Fruit
  12. Roof

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Blogging Break

Just to let you know I'm taking a break from blogging for awhile ~

Thank you all for your comments during the year!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On the seventeenth day of December

Thanks for commiserating with me after yesterday's slip up!  I have been having a chat with myself today:
  • Be mindful.
  • Think and plan before doing! 
  • Finish one job before starting another.
I am a little stiff this morning ~ more painful when walking upstairs than on a flat surface, and my neck is tender from 'whiplash' when my skull smacked against the wall.  I find that a warm scarf wrapped around my neck is helping.

So to start my mindful day, I decided to make a chicken pie to finish up the roast chicken I cooked the other day and also bake a cranberry orange cornbread cake.  Comfort food, you might say. I stayed in the kitchen until I was done... well, I did wander off to the laundry room to do two loads of laundry, but made sure that everything was OK in the kitchen before doing so.

When I headed for a rest on the couch before heading downtown,  I noticed some visitors at the bird feeders.

These Bushtits arrive in a large group ~ swoop in, and then whoosh, gone!  Very cute little birds.  I see that their Latin name is Psaltriparus minimusFun to say out loud! ;)

Two little Black-capped Chickadees were on the sunflower seed/nut feeder ~ 

So thanks again for your kind thoughts ... I am grateful to feel a lot better!

Monday, December 16, 2013

On the sixteenth day of December

Friday the 13th came three days late!

Now who would spray a bathroom floor
with cleaner, then just go
into another room to sort
her laundry!  Who?  You know!

And who, forgetting floor was wet,
would later holler, “Whoa’’
as feet slipped out from under as
she landed!  Who?  You know.

And just because the wall was there
her head incurred a blow,
perhaps to knock some sense inside
her noggin. Who?  You know!

And who is now quite tender,
still lying rather low
with ice pack on her derriere?
How stupid!  Who?  You know!

Tell me, do you see a cat's face in the rear portion of the sparrow, or may it be something to do with cracking the back of my head on the wall?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

On the fifteenth day of December

The sun came out and it warmed up to about  9C which was a welcome change!  I decided to drive to a local marina and had a pleasant stroll along the breakwater, noticing boats, birds ... 

and a bit of greenery growing out of a stump whose biggest wish was to be a Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

On the fourteenth day of December

Yikes, it's only eleven days until Christmas...

Today, I went grocery shopping, visited a few shops, came home and roasted a chicken, spent some time looking up recipes for Christmas goodie baking, and the day disappeared with no photos ~ and nothing much accomplished (other than the tasty dinner)!

I have thought about baking a gingerbread box for each of my three nieces ~ and placing a variety of home-baked treats inside ~ While I was searching around online, I saw this which made me think of Nikki's cats ~ I must be in a goofy mood.  Anyway ~

I found a hummingbird video/slideshow that I put together a year ago and thought you might enjoy checking it out.  The yellow blooms are winter jasmine near my front door.

 Until tomorrow ~

Friday, December 13, 2013

On the thirteenth day of December

The titles of the posts are nearly longer than the posts themselves ;)

Today ~ three photos ~

One more photo of the lights on the drive home last night. Ladysmith is known for its Festival of lights, so always magical to drive down their long main street this time of the year.

Today, the hummingbird asked me to pass along this message to Elaine's husband ~

A glimpse of my un-embellished Belgian waffle in the waffle maker this morning :) It later glistened with maple syrup drizzle.

... had to get Friday the 13th off to a good start :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

On the twelfth day of December

I did decide to go to Victoria today, although it was pouring rain. Very busy on the roads, as well, including construction that slowed down the traffic for a half an hour. 

I did get the jobs done that I had planned on doing.  Much drier on the drive home, and I enjoyed seeing all the Christmas lights.

These decorations included a plane with a rotating propeller.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On the eleventh day of December

No snow, and slightly milder ~ in other words, above freezing :)

No outside photos taken today either, so here's a little Christmas star bird hanging out in the living room.

I may head off to Victoria tomorrow for the day ~

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On the tenth day of December

It didn't snow, but it was still cold.  The bird bath freezes up each day, and I now have three lovely looking scallopy ice sheets that I have lifted out. 

Today, I received a lovely surprise in the mail ~ it really inspired me to decorate the tree ~ I wore my gift while decorating (and I'm still wearing it)...

Nikki and Roomie, it was so great to meet you both in April when I travelled to California ~ and your gift just brought such nice warm feelings to my heart!  Thank you ~

Monday, December 9, 2013

On the ninth day of December

Nature may have some snow in store for us overnight ~ so we'll see.

Here's a most interesting and informative youtube video I found online about Anna Hummingbirds, the kind that frequent my feeder.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it ~ and even be quite amazed!

This evening I took a walk around the neighbourhood ~ wearing shoes with good treads in case the road was slippery. 

Here are a couple of photos I took.

If it does snow overnight, I'll be able to check for footprints in the morning to see if any wildlife wandered through the yard :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

On the eighth day of December

Nothing much today ~ I was buzzed by the  hummingbird this morning when hanging out the feeder ~ and later I saw two of them chasing each other around, but not able to photograph them.

I took the bubble wrap off as it didn't seem to be helping much, and I couldn't see if it was freezing or how much was left.

Hopefully it will be warmer tomorrow.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

On the seventh day of December

Hmmm...well, the contents of the hummingbird feeder that I brought in last night leaked out into the bucket.  It would probably have stayed full if I had hung it from a chopstick placed across the top of the bucket. Anyway, that led me to quickly make more nectar and wait until it cooled down before rushing out into the cold morning to replace the feeder on the branch.  I also made enough for two extra batches and bottled them so I don't have to go through such a rigmarole each time!  Could have thought of that in the first place ~

The sunrise glancing off the snow-topped  mountain ~ peeking through a filigree of branches...

Happy to say that the Hummingbird feeder was busy all day ~ starting bright and early until it became dark around 4:30 p.m, when I couldn't see it any longer.

The drama today, however, involved the big guys who were vying for the sunflower and nut block!

Enter the Steller's Jay, our Provincial bird.

A Northern Flicker comes onto the scene

and peeks around the tree trunk

Face off

Somehow a starling finds its way into the mix ~ and feathers fly ~

Beautiful plumage ~

The Steller's Jay wonders if this is a possibility .... hmmm? 

Meanwhile, little Hummingbird sits in the sun for a long time on a nearby branch.  Do you think it's sticking its tongue out at the Jay, or warming it up after all the chilly drinks ;) ?

Cold temperatures tonight again, but the forecast is for slightly warmer and more usual temperatures for this time of year.

For those interested, I have been listening to this beautiful instrumental version (piano and cello) of O Come O Come Emmanuel.