Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New tree, old ornaments.

This blog was started before Christmas but things got in the way of me finishing and posting it, so here it is now.

I decided to buy a new tree this year. I haven't really put up a full size tree for several years. Last year I used a Charlie Brown tree. I thought I had a picture of it, but here is a link so you can see it if you want to have a look-see.
I love my Charlie Brown tree and plan to put it up in the bathroom this year.

Some years I use the nice little wall tree referenced here. It can also be a stand up tree if you open up the branches and attach its stand. Either way it's a pretty little tree and looks nice with my snowmen and candy ornaments.

This year I decided I wanted a new tree because I wanted a pre-lit version. I bought a nice little seven foot tree with all white lights. I really prefer multi-colored lights, but decided to try the white. I figure I can always add a couple of strands of color if I decide I want them. For this year, though, I just used it the way it is.

Logan decorated the bottom for me

I decorated the top and put the garland on. It turned out nice. There is only one thing I can't figure out. There is no way to effectively attach a tree topper if it weighs more than a couple of ounces. They need to make artificial trees with a piece that sticks up from the top that can hold the weight of a tree-topper. I used to have a nice angel tree-topper, but it started looking like it was going to burn up. I bought a nice star this year because the angels all looked like Barbie dolls dressed in costume.

I had to nestle it in the branches near the top and while that looks ok, I would have liked to have placed it on top of the tree. Maybe I will make a nice new angel one from a toilet paper roll. My very first tree topper was made from a toilet paper roll. I wrapped it in gold foil paper and put a nice little angel package decoration on it. I used it for years but if finally died. Here are some close-ups of some of the other ornaments that are still with me after many years.

I have a lot of ornaments that make decorating a big tree nostalgic for me. I bought these ornaments for my very first tree when I was 19 years old and moved into a little house of my own. ($85.00 a month rent! haha.) These ornaments have been with me all my adult life and go on the tree every year unless I use one of my smaller trees. A few of them have died over the years, but I still have most of them 41 years later.

One that my sister's kids decorated and gave to me for Christmas presents one year. I love these, too!

Keri made this one in 1982.

And her daughter Rhyan made this one, but I don't have a year for it.

I always include a selection of the kids's school project ornaments on my tree each year.

I made this one in the seventies.

These I hand painted in the early seventies. These are the "bottom" ornaments that the kids put on the tree unless I have a child living here. In that case they get their own tree and these go on that. My kids had their own trees in their bedrooms so they could decorate and undecorate to their heart's content!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let's all read some books.

Becky tagged me for this and so I will celebrate my last day of NaBloPoMo with it. I am not going to tag anyone, but feel free to participate if you like.

Have you read more than six of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only six of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses! that's the meme.

Let me start out by saying that I read mostly non-fiction. I have always preferred it to fiction, although I love John Steinbeck, have read all of his works, and own many of them. I also have read all of the "Bunnicula" series by James Howe, and thoroughly enjoy an occasional cat murder mystery by Lillian Jackson Braun.

I love biographies and history books, such as "The Habsburgs", by Dorothy Gies McGuigan. (Doubleday, 1966). I just really love non-fiction. I do attempt to read fiction, though. I even have a list of things I want to read. I try to remember to look them up so I can get them, but I always forget. Maybe I will join a book club this next year.

So here we go...let's see how many I've read. I know it won't be as many as Becky or Chris.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Seriously...I faked reading this for school. Didn't care for it at all.

4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all)
Haven't even read one!

5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6. The Bible
When I got my first Bible, I read it cover to cover. The only frustrating part for me at the time was that there were mentions in the Old Testament to other books, which were not available to me. (or anyone?)

7. Wuthering Heights
I started this book so many times. The movie was a little better, but again...not my style.

8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Gosh, I never even heard of this one.

10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
I went through a Charles Dickens phase in which I read several of his books. I even enjoyed most of them.

11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
And "Little Men" and "Eight Cousins" which I have also.

12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
I own a copy of the "Complete Works of Shakespeare". It was published in 1890. It is one of my collection of old books. I haven't read it because the pages are brittle and I don't want them to break. Maybe I will do another blog on some more of my old books.

15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19. The Time Travelers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
It's on my to-do list.

20. Middlemarch – George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby -- F Scott Fitzgerald
I don't know why I never finish this book.

23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Darryl finished it. I didn't.

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
On my list.

26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Also on my list.

27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina –Leo Tolstoy
On my list.

32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
My kids have all read this, why haven't I?

34. Emma – Jane Austen

35. Persuasion – Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Willaim Golden
I really want to read this one.

40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
It took me years, but I finally read this one.

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabrial Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47. Far from the Madding Crowd -- Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martell

52. Dune – Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60. Love in the time of Cholera - Gabriel garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66. On the Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72. Dracula – Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson

74. Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Bell Jar - Sylivia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal – Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas - Charles Mitchell

83. The Colour Purple - Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte's Web - EB White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree collection - Enid blyton

91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I think my count is 27. Not too bad. Maybe I will make a new list for myself.
I have to admit there are several on here that I didn't even know existed, so I will have to go check them out and see what I can find.
And with that...
NOVEMBER is OVER! NABLOPOMO is complete! Yay!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pick a reason.

Pick your own reason for why I'm posting this lame blog. I've been busy and that makes blogging harder. I'm excited for November to end. I'm excited to decorate for Christmas and I'm excited to get this room painted so I can put things back where they go.
So I'm doing this quick picture blog of random November blooms...
Because I'm tired of blogging every day.
Because I take pictures constantly.
Because flowers were still blooming in November.
Because there is only one more day in November.
Because my brain is on vacation.
Because I can.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More cooking.

Today I made delicious home-made cinnamon rolls. Plus something from the leftover dough and cinnamon/sugar. I spent the day doing lots of dishes, lots of cooking and lots of coughing. I'm tired and don't want to blog today. Only two more days to go. I would show you lovely pictures of my cooking but I didn't take any.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cooking, cooking, cooking.

I tried this recipe for Onion Marmalade the other day. I'm not sure what happened but mine did not smell heavenly. I tasted it a bit and it has a bit of a sour taste, so maybe the onions I used were just a little too sour? It isn't really a bad taste, but it tastes like I added vinegar and I didn't. I only used the two ingredients, onions and butter. I did add three red onions, but that shouldn't have mattered because there are recipes for red onion marmalade. I might try it again and use sweet onions or maybe just try a different recipe. Some of them even call for liquor or wine. I will have to research this more.
Today I started my second batch of SARC butter. It smells heavenly, already. I also put on a big pot of water and made some veggie sinagong. I used chicken bouillion and no meat at all. I am taking some to work with me for my lunch.
My house smells heavenly, today. It's a good thing, too, because we were all getting pretty sick of the smell that onion marmalade produced. I'm hoping the next batch will smell like I had anticipated.
Getting ten pounds of cranberries turned out to be a really good thing for me. I have been cooking and canning and baking and cooking and canning and baking and feel all in the mood to continue this until and through Christmas. I have stocked up on all the things I need to make Christmas cookies and fruitcake and lots of goodies. It's a good thing, too! That might just be the presents I give this year. I always think home made things are the best for Christmas presents, especially for those people who seem to already have everything they need.
Ok...time to get ready for work. I need to start starting my blog a little sooner. I'm pushing the time limits these days.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Fall color along Highway 4

I have nothing.
Busy day cleaning up outside from the storms, and cleaning up inside to get things ready for decorating.
Ate a turkey dinner without cranberry sauce both today and yesterday and I'm SOOOOOOOO craving some cranberry sauce. I will have to make some tomorrow.
Tired of coughing.
Need to go get ready for work, now.
Maybe I will be more interesting tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Enjoy your turkey, if you are celebrating thanksgiving today. If not, enjoy whatever it is you are doing. This is my post for today. I have to go to work, which should be interestingly slow. I think it will be slow. We will see, I guess.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I always wonder just how houses get abandoned. It always makes me sad to see someone's house abandoned and left all alone. I know sometimes it's because someone with more money wants to do something lucrative with the property and I find it sad. I always think of the families whose home that was. I picture happy family scenes and Christmas trees and fun. I know that some houses must see some ugly stuff, but I never think of that.
Here are some of the neat old or abandoned places we saw on our trip.

An old barn that we saw lying almost flat on the ground. This closer view shows me that they have a stove in there like my old one in the garage and I wonder if I could ask them for the oven rack.

Another view of the barn.

This house looked interesting as we approached it. It was on the other side of the road, but the driveway was open and we had room to park there so I could take some pictures.

I like this picture. It shows that the house seems to be separating from it's addition. The tree in the picture is not only falling on the house, but it has a lot of moss and some ferns growing on it. The outbuilding appears to have tin corrugated roofing put over a shingled roof. This is a place I would love to explore. I would love to go inside these buildings. I would have loved to have gone closer and taken closer pictures, but felt like I would have been trespassing on someone's lost memories without their permission. It would probably have been ok.

The same house from the beginning of the driveway. The driveway is right there at the bottom of the picture. It's a nice winding driveway. It was hard to walk away without walking up it to see the house.

What used to be a shed on the same property with that house.

This poor house has seen better days. It is another one that makes me want to go explore inside, though.

As seen from the road. Do you think if you stepped inside on the left side there, it would tip it over?

A barn or shed losing the battle.

This house still stands tall, but the vegetation is gradually taking it over. I couldn't tell if it was still whole, but I think it is still standing, just buried in the brush.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just some more pictures from our drive to Gray's River.

Today I just have some of the interesting things around the Gray's River Bridge that I saw that day.

This tree had a bunch of ferns growing on it. I saw a few trees like that on our trip.

A barn on Loop Rd.

I'm not sure if this is an abandoned garage, home or ?. It has a tin roof. It is very square and has windows and doors. It's not too far from a nice little pond, but I was not at an angle to get the pond in the picture. Also on Loop Rd.

This rope was thrown over this post as if it was waiting to be used again. The post is next to the bridge. Do they use it to swing into the river? Or? Who knows?

A nicely carved sign announcing the addresses of the two homes up this driveway. Weathered a bit, but that's why I like it.

I just liked this tree. The hawk was a volunteer and I didn't know he/she was even there until I saw the picture on my computer.

Gosh, I love old barns. There were cows outside this one, but I'm thinking they don't really use this anymore.

I tried to get an effect with the grass in front of me and the barn in the background. It didn't work quite the way I expected.

A wind vane that was put up next to the mailboxes, but has obviously seen better days. I liked the idea, though.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Twilight Zone and Deer.

I found out you can't photograph deer at night with my camera unless you either have a tripod or something on which to set the camera. I do have a night setting, but without the tripod it is difficult because I shake a little. I didn't have my tripod, which is too bad, since these guys kept eating while we were sitting there and I was in and out of my car. I also cannot remember how to do manual settings, even though I used an SLR for years that had NO automatic settings. I have to take a course and refresh my knowledge in that area. I will do that once I get my DSLR.

So here you have a little family of black-tailed deer that look like something out of "Twilight Zone". haha.

Here they are with no flash and no light. It wasn't really that dark, yet.

In my headlights:

In my headlights and with flash:

So, there you have it. Some pretty bad photography!