Monday, November 30, 2009

Max! :)

Christmas time always brings sweet memories of our Maxwell! He was always first to get his gift from under the tree, and he derived more joy from his one gift than the rest of us did from all of ours put together! :) He'd proudly carry it around, in his soft, lab mouth, showing it to each of us, doing his "happy walk", wagging his tail so gleefully that his whole body wagged with each step! He'd circle the living room, again and again, amid the happy chatter and laughter! He was so happy to be a part of the festivities! :) He was especailly fond of a soft, cream colored, stuffed toy, we called "Baby"! We called it that because he treated it as if it was his baby and liked to have it with him! That was a gift that needed to be replaced a couple of times! :)
Max was a very special canine! Not only was he the most handsome lab we've ever seen, but he had the most loveable personality to match! His one wish was simply to be with us, and it was very easy to include him, as he was so enjoyable to be with!! :) He liked, and got along with, everyone and adored each of us!! He made us each feel that we were his personal favorite!! :)
He loved to run and leap off of the dock, into the water, after a stick one of us had thrown for him. He would do this untill we tired of the sport and then he was happy to return home again! :)
One of his most favorite things to do was to watch the birds! When they perched in the upper branches he'd bark from below untill they flew! He'd then run to the tree they landed in and proceed to bark at them again untill they'd fly again!! He'd smile so wide that his ears bowed! :) If the birds stayed in the yard, he could do this with them for hours, never seeming to tire of the game! I told him he was a "bird brain" like me, since we both love watching birds! :)
When the kids were little they always included Max in their play! One day Sheana called to us to come see Max! When we arrived at her bedroom door, there was Max lying on her bed, smiling from ear to ear with all of Sheana's stuffed toys encircling him!! Suddenly he jumped off the bed, went to Cal's room, jumped up on his bed, retrieved a stuffed toy, and returned to Sheana's bed! He dropped this toy at his side and beamed at all of us as if to say, "There, just needed that one last toy to make this moment perfect!" :) We all laughed sharing the perfect moment with him! :)
Max was very intelligent! At one point we had given each of his toys a name, and we would ask him where a certain toy was and he'd go to his toy box and bring out the toy we'd requested! :)
He'd learned to "go pottie" on demand, within the first two weeks we had him, as a puppy! He never went in the yard, but always went off to the side of the yard! When we moved to the country, he'd go in the field rather than the lawn! He taught this behavior to our current dog, Buddy, when we brought him home! :) We've never had to worry about watching were we step, and the pooper-scooper has long ago been tossed in the garbage! :)
Once he even embarrassed himself! He and Rud were coming around the side of the house, in the dark, when Max suddenly set his front feet and barked defensively! He was protecting Rud, when he realized the object he was barking at was one of our trees! He looked So Embarrassed!
He liked everyone, but there were two times he felt a need to protect us from someone. Once was when Rud had taken him on a long walk in a treed area, and two men of questionable character were walking there too. Max growled at them and kept watch untill they'd moved on. The other time was when I was home alone, and two men came to my door. As I spoke with them Max stood at my side, growling and eyeing them the entire time they were there! I was so thankful for having Max at my side! :)
It may sound funny but one of my most favorite things was to press my face against Max's forhead and breath in his wonderful doggy aroma!! He never seemed to mind, and knew I adored him! :)
It's been over 3 years now since Max has gone. Somewhere Max is barking at the birdies, watching them fly from tree to tree, passing the time untill we are all together again! :)
While children will be seeing visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, I'll be seeing visions of Max, again this Christmas, enjoying the holiday and the joy of family with us! ... We love you Max! :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

On Dasher, On Prancer, ... On To The Next! :)

It's become tradition, in our home, to decorate on the first of a holiday month! Normally I'd be taking down Thanksgiving the last day of the month, and putting up Christmas on the first of Dec.! :)
For some reason, I'm feeling restless today, and decided there's no point in waiting! Maybe it has to do with all the pie and fuel I've put in my body, that's got my engine running on high! Or maybe it has to do with an additional church calling that requires my attention the first and second week of every month, that makes me want to tackle those things ahead of time that I'd normally do during that first week! :)
At any rate, I started putting away all the 'mums, pumpkins, and squash, and sweeping the deck, steps and walkway! Seeing it bare made it suddenly feel much larger! - With that done, I removed the Thanksgiving wreath and hung the Christmas wreath in it's place! :)
I brought in the Thanksgiving bin and will now put away all the house decorations! If I'm still feeling energetic tomorrow, I'll start bringing in the Christmas decorations! :)
Right now I have the artificial wreath on the door. I use it untill I have time to make one from live greens around the property, ( since Rud and I both like live wreaths )! If I don't end up having time, we atleast have this one that gets us by! :)
I'm feeling anxious for Cal and I to get the house lights up too! :) Since that requires his help, we'll play that by ear! :)
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!? :)
Ours was wonderful! :)
Now I'm ready to move on to the next holiday!! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! :)

Wherever you are spending the holiday, this year, may you feel especially welcome! :)
And may it suit you like a homemade pie, ... all warm, cozy, and just to your personal liking!! :)
May we seize the opportunity to share with whomever we're with, those things we are most thankful for this year!! :)
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Power-Outage Puzzle! :)

Lately I've had this urge to make time for putting a puzzle together, but with a very long "Do-list", it's been difficult to justify taking the time!

A little past 5, this morning, a rain storm accompanied with strong winds caused many trees to fall on powerlines, resulting in alot of outages in the area! Our's lasted untill late afternoon today. Since I couldn't shower to get ready for church, I remained home. I was sad to miss it, but ended up enjoying a very peaceful day! :)

I realized the opportunity was knocking and decided to seize the moment! What better time to put a puzzle together than when the power's out?! :) I thoroughly enjoyed myself! :)
Perhaps the next time we have a power outage I will put another one together!! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Late Bloomers! :)

It amazes me how some plants can be so determined to display their beauty long after the conditions are right for them to do so! Now the days are short, with darkness hanging on late into the morning hours and arriving early in the afternoons! The blustery temp's hold a chill to them now, having caused the bees, and other insects that blossoms attract, to seek hybernation for the winter! :) There seems to only be one reason for them to continue in their daring effort to bring forth blooms, and that is to gladden our hearts! :) With overcast, gray days, now short on light, - this bit of triumphant color is very dear to me! It's almost as if these plants, I give care to, are repaying me with this last push of color! :) ...

I appreciate their show of strong heart, especially since we've had a few hard freezes now! :)
A part of me relates to them in another way as well, - you see, - I was a late bloomer too! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Excellent Eggnog!!! :)

I just have to share this Great Find with those of you who happen to love eggnog! If you're a pumpkin pie fan, this eggnog's for you!! As Cal put it, "It's like drinking a pumpkin pie!" :) That pretty well says it all!! It's a hit in our family!! YUMMMMM!!! :)

S.O.S.! - Save Our Suet! :)

Last winter we had a real problem with raccoons stealing our suet from the bird station! If they had trouble getting the suet cages open, they'd take cage and all! One snowy morning I'd played detective and followed the raccoon tracks along our property, across the road, and into a thicket where I know there is a stack of green suet cages, - most of them brand new!! :)
I had to start taking down the suet cages at night, and putting them back up in the morning! It was an annoyance to both myself and the birds, who sometimes didn't get remembered untill mid day! :)
When the warm temperatures of summer came, the thieves left us alone and I was able to stop manning the suet! :)
They returned this fall in time to clean us out of our grapes, apples, and pears!!! They took most of our corn crop too!!
Then, the other night, when it froze, they turned their attention back to the suet!

This is where I found it on that fridgid morning! They were unsuccessful at getting it opened and I'm amazed they left it and didn't take the whole cage with them, as they often do! :)

They did carry it away from the bird station, however! Before deciding to leave it behind! :)

If you look closely you may see it lying between two small mole hills. If the photo enlarges, when you click on it, you should be able to see it! ( For those unsure how to return to the blog once the photo enlarges, just click on the blue "back" arrow at the top left corner of your screen, and it will put you right back at this spot in the blog! )
The last few nights there hasn't been any theft, but once the nights start freezing on a regular basis, I expect they'll step up their burglary again!
I'll be starting what Rud refers to as "The S.O.S. - Save Our Suet - Program"! I don't look forward to going out on dark, cold nights bringing them in, and rehanging them on those chilly mornings! It's enough to make me consider turning into an Annie Oakley, and reclaiming what's mine!! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seashells In My Lawn! :)

Imagine my amazement when I noticed little tiny seashells in my lawn! I've never seen shells in the grass before and had no ideah any shells this tiny even exsisted! But there they were, -beautiful little white shells! :)
Of course they had stems and were actually tiny, white mushrooms, but sometimes even the real thing can be an incredible find! After all, even though we've lived here, in western WA, for years, I've never seen them!! Yet here they are, all charming, peaking up from the grass! :)

They're little white gems that make me smile every time I see them! :)

So far they are just in one small location so I try not to crush them under foot and actually step around them! I can't help it! I think they're adorable! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Birthday Boy Brennan! :)

Today was a cellebration of the birth of our grandson, Brennan, as he turned One year old!! :) It amazes me how so much spirit, can fit into a little body! :) We Adore him, more than words can say, and I finally understand what other grandparents meant when they tried to explain to me how very Precious and Wonderful Grandbabies are!! :)
Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!! We love you!! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fun, Frolicking, Fall! :)

Every year November awakens my senses to the joys of autumn! :) The beauty of vibrant colors in the yard and neighboring rural landscapes, and the thrill I always derive from watching the leaves dancing in my rearview mirror, as I drive the country roads! :)

These photos have been easily aquired as I've had to look no further than my own yard for the fun signs of Fall! :)

From the Japanese Maples ...

To the ornamental cherry tree! I love how this tree manages to spin a patchwork of green, yellow, orange, and red, on nearly every leaf, each year! :)

Even the Japanese Maple Leaves display a playful array of color on each leaf, from cream to red!

Nov. also means Thanksgiving is arriving, - a time to count our blessings and give thanks! :)

When nature offers such natural beauty it makes it easy to feel grateful! :)

My ever loyal companion keeps watch and enjoys the peace and quiet with me! :)

This next photo, ( below ), shows rain streaking down, but unless it will enlarge when you click on it, it doesn't look like it shows. Hope it enlarges for you! :)

Fall can be thrilling with grass-greening rain fall ...

Which is often followed by breath-taking rainbows! His promise to us that He will not again flood the earth! :)

If you look close you will see this one's a double! I wonder if that means there's supposed to be two pots of gold at this rainbow's end?! :) I hope this photo will enlarge when you click on it! :)

This fall we've been enjoying alot of wonderful sunsets!! :)

Sometimes it's almost as if the skyline is on fire! :)

I had to share one more mushroom photo, as these purple ones sprang up since I did the blog post on fungi! Just one more fun, frolicking display of Fall!! I love November!! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Crocus Candy! :)

If you're like me, flowers can be candy for the eyes! This catalog photo of the mixed crocus is similar to how the crocus, that I planted today, should look this spring! :)
The ground should have an even coverage of each of these, white, pale blue, ...

silvery-purple, yellow, ... ( sorry for this image. I should have turned off the flash ) ...

and creamy yellow crocus! :)

I took this photo when I was around half done with the planting! All 250 bulbs went into this south-side flower bed! I'm relieved that I managed to get all the bulbs in the ground during this short dry spell! :)

The leaves make it difficult to see the crocus bulbs waiting their turn to be planted! Hopefully the photo will enlarge when you click on it, - for a closer look! The bulb spade blends right in, - can you see it? :)

And here's a look at a catalog photo of the tulip mix I planted yesterday, ( in the previous blog post ). As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." It'll be fun if they look like the photo! :)
Now that they're in the ground, I can start thinking about getting some bark! That's the last remaining outside goal, on my fall do-list! Then I can leave these bulbs to sleep for the winter while we enjoy the rest of the holidays! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tulip Time-Out! :)

Today I took a "time-out" from all my other pressing responsibilities to get the tulip bulbs planted along the side of the garage! With only a few dry days in the forcast, getting them planted is just as pressing as the other things on my agenda! :)

As I planted them I pulled the soil away from the wood exterior walls, so once they were all in, I could water them in without concern of getting the wood wet! The overhang is so wide on the garage that it protects it and keeps it pretty dry, requiring me to actually water in the bulbs if they're to get enough moisture to grow and bloom come spring! I learned that the hard way, last year, when I thought the rain would wet them and it didn't. To my dismay none of last years tulips came up! Today I pulled withered, dried-out bulbs from the soil as I replanted the new! I made a point to water them in before calling the job finished today! :)
I'd ordered a tulip mix of 100 bulbs! Turns out that was the exact number I needed to fill the space!
The catalog says this mix will be mostly reds and yellows, with many bi, with a sprinkling of pink and white! The photo looked attractive so I'm hoping it will be bright and cheery this spring! :) I'll be sure to do a follow-up blog, with photos, at bloom time! If you like tulips, you can look forward to them with me! :)
Now if I can just get the crocuses in the gound tomorrow! ... :)