Spring 2018

Spring 2018
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Friday, January 29, 2016

a little redecorating

It's almost the end of January already.  Where did that month go??  In a couple weeks we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day and I thought it was time to do a little redecorating and put away the frosty snowy theme I've had out since the middle of November.  January has been kind to us weather-wise and the past week has been unseasonably mild so a fresh look was in order for the dining room hutch.  I blog at the dining table and when I look up this is what I see, so, you can see why I enjoy changing up this area often.  I like something pleasing to look at when I look up.  :)    

I added some pops of aqua with the white to give the hutch a fresh look for the season that can carry into spring too.  The aqua teapot was a gift from my husband for Christmas.  It's from David's Tea and has an infuser inside it for loose tea.  It has gotten a lot of use this month.  I love the aqua colour and stars on it which has a vintage look, I think.  The aqua plate is one of 5 that we found in the 'attic'.  It has no markings but looks like Fiesta Ware or Medicine Hat Pottery from Alberta.  

A mix of old and new.


A deer this morning with a hoar frost on the grasses and trees - sure sign of a warm up.


You may have noticed that I've added the email gadget at the top of my sidebar should you wish to follow me that way if you're not on blogger.  I'm not computer savvy so I hope I did it correctly.  I have lost a few followers this week to the new blogger format.  If you join me through the email please let me know.  Thanks!

Thanks for visiting.  Take care and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Friday, January 22, 2016

it is very puzzling indeed

Yes it is ~ puzzling and challenging!  I bought myself this puzzle to occupy my hours during this cold month of January.  However, I think I will still be putting the pieces together in February.  All 1000 pieces!!  I have it on a card table in the dining room as we use our dining table daily.

It took me hours to do the outside edge.  Well, maybe not hours, but it sure seemed like it.  I finally had it all together, measured all 4 sides and found one side was an inch shorter.  I had all the straight edges on the table connected together but something was amiss.  I examined it carefully and found the 'missing piece' on the left side (hey, it fit!) and found where it should be along the bottom edge.  That part was done and surely the rest would be easy.  
Hahahahahahahaha!!!  Who am I fooling.

Tip:  Use your dining room table space to lay out the pieces and don't fish from the box!  I finally figured this out 2 days ago.  We still have room to eat.

These pieces represent parts of a tree with tiny coloured lights going up the trunk.  They have been in this position for 2 weeks as I can't figure it out.  I don't have the patience to do puzzles.  I want it done now.  Also, my fingers and thumbs are not as nimble as they used to be and even picking up pieces to try them in spots is quite frustrating.  Maybe this is all good exercise for me - my fingers and my brain.  Do you think?

This is the picture.  See the tree on the right?  And all those pretty clouds?  and all the bluish white snow?  And the people?  And the train station windows?  When you get all the pieces laid out it becomes very overwhelming.  I have sorted them out by colours  which helps.  I've found faces and legs and parts of the train and wreaths, and the dog.  I found the Lionelville sign and the words on the train...they were easy.  So was the signature of Thomas Kinkade in the bottom right corner.  The 4 boys in the foreground have been challenging.  

 Here was my progress on Jan. 19.  I missed a few days.  Some days I'd make the effort to find one piece and place it....which sometimes led to a few more pieces.  

Look at this!  I spent some time on Wednesday evening then again last evening (until 12:30 am!! waiting for Murray to get home from a business trip) and made some huge progress.  I'm still looking for the top of the heads for green shirt boy and red shirt boy.  Blue boy is missing his body and head but it's coming.

I haven't done a puzzle in years so this is a great accomplishment for me.  I see my friend Vee is doing a puzzle too and I'm sure there  are more puzzle-doers out there this winter.  It really is a good pastime and the challenge is excellent for the mind.  Right Vee? 
Are you making a puzzle this winter?  Perhaps you've tackled more than one.   Kudos to you!!  


 The white tulips are still going but I had to throw 3 out as they flopped right over.  Aren't the yellow centres pretty?

I sat the vase on the window sill in front of the snowy outside then changed it to black and white and a bit of HDR.  

Sunrise this morning was so pretty and look where the sun is coming up now.  It was further to the right a couple weeks ago so it is gradually moving left to the east and rising earlier too.

I mentioned in my last post about the deer tracks in our yard and wondered when the deer were visiting in the night.  Last night, with the almost full moon shining on the snow, I noticed a dark shadow under the bird feeders (which are on the clothesline) and it was a deer eating the seed on the ground.  I tried to get a photo but it was too dark and the camera wouldn't focus.  It saw me too, and decided to run to the back lawn so I opened the door and tried to take a picture but still no luck.  You'll have to take my word for it.  

I hope those of you who are in the storm's path today in the eastern US are safe and don't have to be out on the streets and roads.  Up here we stock up on food and 'storm' chips.  You gotta have potato chips to get through a storm.  :-)  There is a potato chip company in New Brunswick called Covered Bridge Potato Chips that makes 'storm' chips..... a large bag of 4 different savoury flavours.  I found some just before Christmas and we ate them one weekend when it wasn't even storming.  Haha.  

Thanks for visiting and your comments on my last post.  Have a great weekend my friends.  Be safe!  And maybe dig out an old puzzle for something to do. 


Monday, January 18, 2016

plodding along through January

Fresh PEI-grown tulips!

Well, we are past the half-way mark in January as it plods along and things are still pretty quiet. I haven't been snow shoeing the past week but I have been getting 'out' in the fresh air as we looked after our grand-dogs on the weekend.  And, I've been shovelling snow from the decks.  ;-)  We had about 2 cm of snow on Saturday from the 'big storm' that was supposed to hit but drifted east and hit Nova Scotia instead.  It is clear sailing for us the rest of this week with no snow in sight - just cold and sunshine.  

A sunrise last week the day after the 38cm. snowstorm.  Love the blue and coral together.

Future firewood.

While at our son's on Sunday we got a fire going in the wood stove to warm the house up for their return from snowmobiling.  

A pretty lane through the old orchard.

The "Wedding Trees" planted nearly 50 years ago by Murray's father and where our daughter and son-in-law were married in 2008.

I caught these three deer on the hill yesterday afternoon.  There are lots of deer tracks in our yard and I noticed yesterday, driving along our road, that every single yard and field had deer tracks through them.  Today I had to stop twice on one road near here to let deer cross.  Murray wondered aloud what time the deer pass through the yard in the night.  I don't always look out if I'm up in the night as it is too cold to roam around the house barefoot in the dark, but it has me curious too.  

What's been happening in your neck of the woods?  Are you snowed under or enjoying balmy temperatures and sunshine?  
Are you glued to Downton Abbey once a week?  I just finished season 4 on Netflix and will have to wait for season 5 then 6 to come out.  

Birds feeding during a snowstorm last week.

I've been bird watching in the backyard all winter.  We have had chickadees, goldfinches, American tree sparrows, blue jays and a red squirrel.  There have been lots of sightings of Snowy Owls along the Northumberland Strait coast recently and I've never ever seen an owl in the wild.  Have you? I did see this one at our son's yesterday.  It is perched on a fence post next to the garden to keep unwanted birds out.    LOL   

I don't think this is a rare owl.  
Do you?

Thanks so much for your visits and comments.  I'm spending less time on here blogging it seems but try to visit here and there when I can.  I hope you all have a beautiful week ahead.  Stay Warm!!


Monday, January 11, 2016

a quiet January so far

A collage of pics on this sunny afternoon.  From left to right and top to bottom:
my plant corner, a puzzle I'm working on (none to swiftly!), letter G shadow, snowman head
crocheted snowflake, 2 leftovers :), a sun catcher, new bird feeder,
sunshine on silver, cute bird coaster, new teapot and tin of tea, guests for supper.

Hi everyone!
January up to this point has been fairly quiet.  Last week we enjoyed March-like weather with milder temperatures and sunshine.  I don't have a lot to post about these days.  I did go snowshoeing again on Friday afternoon with 3 dear friends.  We took the same Alex Creek Trail that Murray and I took the week before.  

The creek is still open and it was pretty with the ice formations along the sides.

On Saturday evening we had 4 friends over for supper.  I made a delicious Tomato Corn Chowder from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook and we played a game of Mexican Train Dominoes.  Guys against the girls and the guys won - by a great deal.  Not a great way to start of the new year but we had fun and we girls will keep trying!  It's not like the guys win every time!

We had rain, a warm temperature of 8C, and a southerly wind last night which melted down a lot of snow.  Our driveway is now bare again.  By 1:00 this afternoon the temperature had dropped to 0C with snow squalls then the sun came out as the wind switched over to the cold north.  It's going to be a cold night so I'm grateful for my warm house.

We had some gorgeous sunrises lately.

This morning's was neat to see the sun shining on the city of Fredericton down the river valley then it got cloudy for a few hours.

The Amaryllis bloomed right after Christmas - 4 gorgeous buds all at once!

Thank you for sharing your insight regarding my photo issues with Blogger that I asked about last week.  I'll keep working at it.

I've been trying to get around to visit more of you in between doing a bit of cleaning and purging around the house and putting my puzzle together.  I finished season 4 of Downton Abbey on Netflix so now I have to wait, who knows how long, for Season 5 then 6 to come on.....some day!!  

I guess we're in for some snow Tuesday night into Wednesday and maybe more on the weekend.  We need it for snowmobiling, skiing and snowshoeing in our area so bring it on. 

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

snowshoeing in the park and photo sharing issues

I got a nice set of snowshoes for Christmas from Murray and have had my first run at using them on New Years Day.

I took them for a test on New Years Eve day out back first.  I think I'm really going to enjoy them and it will be so great to get out in the fresh air this winter for some exercise.  I have a couple of friends that snowshoe as well.

Murray took this one of me out back for my test run.  I like the poles for balance when breaking new snow.

The group "Friends of Mactaquac" organized a snowshoe walk on the Alex Creek Trail in Mactaquac Provincial Park on January 1 so we decided to take part.  It was a beautiful sunny and mild day (1C) and no wind....my kind of winter weather.  :)

About 60 people of all ages came out, including about 20 kids, and a few dogs.  The Friends of Mactaquac provides snowshoes free of charge for those who don't have any or may want to try it out before purchasing their own.  They also can provide cross country skis for the groomed ski trails in the park.  All Free!!  

The beautiful trail.  I did a post about this trail last August (see labels at the end of this post) and the damage caused by post tropical storm Arthur in 2014 when thousands of trees blew down and much of the trails were destroyed as well as the bridges over the creeks.  Last summer a crew repaired the trails, removed trees and built new bridges over Alex Creek.  My friend and I tried to get through the trail last August and couldn't get very far because of the severe damage.  I could not believe how lovely this trail is now and will look forward to hiking it next summer too.

The brand new Alex Creek covered bridge.

Now....here is the same scene last August....the bridge all heaved from uprooted trees.

They even made a sign for the bridge and hung a wreath and Christmas lights.  I hope this bridge will last a very long time through whatever weather it is subjected to and that it won't be vandalized.    The crew did an amazing job!

At the warming hut there was a bonfire going and hot chocolate was provided.  I admit I was pretty 'warmed up' from the walk through the woods so didn't need any more heating.

Murray and a local 'friend of Mactaquac' chatting.  Murray carried his old snowshoes as the trail was very compacted from many people going over it.  They are the 'bear paw' style and were made about 45 years ago by his Uncle Boucher (pronounced Bow {as in a boat}-cher) of Tabusintac, NB.  They are designed for breaking trail in deep snow.  His uncle made hundreds of snowshoes over the years and strung them with fishing line.  He used rubber from inner tubes to hold them on over ones boots which works very well.  We have an old pair made by him that are made with sinew.  Sadly, uncle is in a nursing home now but we bought the last pair of children's snowshoes he made about 5 years ago and our grandson has them.  

Here is another very old pair of snowshoes made with sinew plus a native made basket backpack.  Oh... and a cute little puppy. :)

What a great time we had.  It felt so good to get out and get some exercise and fresh air, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.


The photos of our snowshoe hike in the park were taken with my new iPhone 6.  I love the camera on it as it takes much better photos than my old 4 did.  However, I'm having issues my MacBook Pro recognizing them so I had to load them into iPhoto instead of Picasa.  I can't edit them at all either.  In order to use these photos I had to share them from my Facebook page and save them to Picasa then edit them.  What a nuisance!  Here I thought I'd have some nice pics from my new phone to use for my blog and Blogger doesn't even recognize iPhoto unless I upgrade to Google+.  I think.  I'm not really sure what the issue is.  Does anyone know what I need to do?  Also, over the last week Murray loaded OSX El Capitan to my computer thinking it might help with some 'issues' I've had with slow speed.  Hmmm.  Not sure if that worked and it also made some new issues to deal with.  Technology!!  It's so frustrating isn't it?  Has anyone else tried El Capitan?  What do you think of it?


We are in a very cold snap for a few days here.  Last night was our coldest at -18C (zeroF) and it's only -14 at noon today although the sun is shining brightly on the white landscape so it looks nice out there.  The wind is blowing so the windchill is -18.  Brrr.

Thank you for all your good wishes for 2016.  I appreciate them and you!   Have a great week ahead.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 in pictures

Happy New Year Everyone!

I want to wish you all a very blessed year ahead full of peace, joy, contentment, happiness and good health.

I thought I'd start the year off with a review of my favourite photos of 2015.  You know I take thousands of pictures, a lot of which end up in the trash, so it was really difficult to pick out some of my favourites for the year.  So...because there are 12 months in a year I will share 12 photos (or collages) - one for each month.  Enjoy.

This was a tree burning on January 3.  Our son's neighbours huge spruce tree blew down on Dec. 26 so a bonfire was in order.

You may recall that we had one of the longest snowiest winters in recent years last year.  This is a drift in the backyard that Murray was clearing a path through in February.

Kings Landing Historical Settlement - Sugar Bush Weekend.

My own daffodils from my garden!  Finally spring arrived.

New 'neighbours' moved in.  So fun to watch.

Our feeble attempt at vegetable gardening would be our last.  Too many weeds and too many deer!  But...look at all that green grass!

The big event for July was my big birthday!  As Murray says - I'm 'working' for the government now.  :-)

Hopewell Rocks near Moncton, NB
Summer weather finally arrived in August after a wet and cool start to the season.  It got hot and I loved it.  We did a lot of day trips together and I did some hiking with friends.  It was a great month!

September saw us winging our way to Calgary to visit our grandkids and their parents.  We had a great visit and it was fun to do things with these 3 little guys who are growing way too fast.

Because of our 'late' start to summer we had some spectacular fall colours this year well into October.

Walking in the park on a crisp fall day and a week later I was decorating for Christmas.  

We had a freezing rain storm on Dec. 12 which coated everything in sparkling ice.  We also had about 2 feet of snow before the end of the month.  Winter has arrived.

The year 2015 was a good one for us.  God has blessed us abundantly and we are truly grateful.
I wish for each of you peace, joy, contentment and good health in the year ahead.  Thank you for following along on my little blog.  I appreciate it very much and hope I can keep it rolling along in 2016.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Have a great weekend.

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