Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

I'm a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit rounder, but still none the wiser.

~~Robert Paul
Be at war with your vices; at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

~~ Benjamin Franklin
Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.

~~ Brooks Atkinson
May you all have a wonderful beginning to 2012 and a blessed year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Memories, Dreams, & Reflections: 2011

Template used to create this post.

{All pictures taken by me in the year 2011 unless otherwise noted.}
{Text in bold is the subject of the picture}

Me! This picture is part of a self portrait challenges and I really like this one; although, I like the "material girl" shot too. It is so hard to decide!

Even though 2011 had tons of crappy moments, I'd like to think I have improved in the areas of writing and photography. At least, I shared a little more of my writings this year. And, a DIY project, the trash-to-treasure nightstand, was completed. So, something was accomplished (finished) this year. I have sewed up a bunch of blocks and finished quilt tops even though a quilt haven't been completely finished yet. I have done a few other crafty projects. And, we did make bread until life hit me with a ton of bricks. I am planning to pick up the bread making once again in the New Year.

So, I guess I did okay with my New Year goals for 2011.

I Love You! This is a "old" self portrait Dan took for me back in February of 2010 at my request. I wanted a picture of him before he trimmed up his "rugged" beard for the summer. This is the most current picture I have of him. Yes, I need to get a new picture of him. But, this will have to do.

This man is the love of my life. He is so supportive in all ways including when I'm very sick. He doesn't like for me to take long road trips by myself. So, he does not hesitate to take day(s) off from work to rush me back home if I'm needed. He listens to my infrequent passionate rantings and often smiles at me in amusement. He is my BFF (Best Friend Forever) and my rock on this earth.

source: Dan

This subject of this pictures is suppose to be Still Laughing; but, for the life of me, I cannot remember such a moment. However, I'm still experiencing Quiet Joy over one of the newest member of the family. So, "quite joy" replaces "Still Laughing". She is growing up too fast!

Winter Wonderland: It snowed on February 4th and it was quite an experience for me living in the south Texas as we do not often get snow down here.

What I got for myself on My Birthday. 'Nuff said.

The cats are My Friends. Sad to say, I don't have pictures of me with friends. And, even if I did, I would not post them without their express permission. My family is different -- they know that I am nuts and will post pictures. However, I do try to respect them and ask beforehand. Anyway, my cats are an ever present source of companionship and amusement. So, I guess they'll do in the subject of "friends". Ha!

I Was Inspired by this DIY Showoff blog post to get me one of these soda crates. It can (and will) serve as a multi-purpose function throughout the year. We are planning to make some cute little wooden drawers for this crate using some Luan.

This represents Spring Fever to me. The honeybees begin to stir when spring arrives and gets busy gathering pollen. I adore honeybees and often wish I had a hive.

A favorite taken on our Vacation at North Padre Island.

{not the best picture as it was taken with a digital water camera while the sun was high in the sky}

Tubing, whether it be at a water park or on the river, is always a reflection of Summer Days for me. I can hardly wait for Garner next year in June. I'm hoping the water will be higher and flowing. Please Lord, let it continue to rain periodically!

A Day in my Life {December 19, 2011}

Seeing this little girl always makes me Smile.

{I do not have any pictures for Autumn Harvest in 2011. Fall was basically shot considering I came down sick and all that -- I just did not feel like taking pictures during this time.}

Some of my Family while bowling -- December 22, 2012.

source: Dan with my camera

My sister-in-law's Power cookies are a reason to Celebrate! anything at any time!

source: Dan

Let's Do It Again. I love cooking with Dan. I love that he's willing to do things with me including photography. I love that he's willing to teach me all that he knows in this area. I love that he gets my weird sense of humor and that he caught on by coming up with this picture all on his own.

{I Miss You is supposed to be the next picture/category. But, I really miss a man (my dad) that passed away almost three years ago. This Christmas was the hardest for me considering my Mother's circumstances and changes. I also really miss a fine lady (my grandmother) who passed away long ago. And, the strangest thing is that I miss a cat that I really bonded with and loved that passed away over 12 years ago. I still occasionally wake up in the night and feel for her at the foot at the bed only to realize she's gone. No other cat was like her before or since.}

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". I do think this Cicada is Beautiful. Cicadas remind me of the dog days of summer and innocent days of childhood when I did not mind catching and holding one of the buzzing critters.

Dress Up with my new boots.

I think this Sand Crab is the best Macro picture all year long. It's also My Favorite.
Bokeh for the Holidays. I attempted to practice on 12/23 with Dan's fixed lens. I love me some snowmen; so, I focused on them on the Christmas tree. I still have a long ways to go before I achieve what I desire in a picture. But, I think I am improving, am I not?

Don't Ever Change. This is a tough one for me. I know we all change. We all grow up. We all go on our separate ways to lead our lives. We all grow older. We all eventually die. Well, I've gone macabre. The point is that this doll from my childhood will never change. We can all count on that. Ha!

Just Because...So There!
{Original Screw-in-a-Screw post}

My Hopes and Dreams is to live in the sewing room someday. Ha! Seriously though, I'm working on a "Finish Year" list and will share that with you all soon. My word of the year for 2011 is "do". I think I accomplished much more than I ever did before. There is always room for improvement though. I think I will the word of the year "finish" for 2012 and extend the word "do". I am longing to do do much more and finish a few projects. The two words, "do" and "finish", complement one another, don't you think?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hello All!

Today is Christmas for those who celebrate this holiday. I hope everyone who observes this day is having a wonderful day. For some odd reason, I am having a very difficult time. You would think it get easier without a loved one, after 3 years; but, it is not easy. The times of grief are fewer and fewer; but, the pain/grief does not lessen. And, the changes on and around the holidays are difficult for me to grasp and hard for me to accept; but, I must in order to move on.

I am thankful for family and those who put up with this old lady. I am thankful to see Mother is in somewhat good spirits in spite of her circumstances. I am thankful for friends, old and new, real and virtual. I am thankful my for Dan who puts up with my idiosyncrasies and loves me in spite of them. I am thankful for the newest precious little ones who have entered the world. And, last but not least, I am thankful for God who saw me through the last several difficult years.

Posting will be sporadic from now until the New Year. I am planning on at least one post; but, for the most part, I will be silent. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Day in My Life {Storybook Picture}

Monday, December 19, 2012

{To see a larger version, go here.}
  1. First thing in the morning: Prevacid.
  2. Bills
  3. Breakfast
  4. Catch up on the Interwebs
  5. Meet Dan for lunch: Wendy's
  6. Mail bills
  7. Took pictures of Gracie's paw
  8. Dinner: Cracker Pizza
  9. Books I won came in the Mail with two cute Amish kids magnets

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

An Early Christmas Present from Dan:

With Jeans. Lurve!

With a skirt. I <3 these boots!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pictorial Story: A Lizard's Tail

On August 28th, I screamed bloody murder upon spying something moving among the blinds. Dan was like "what!?!?!" I could only point toward the blinds as I was rendered speechless.

I laughed at myself upon realizing what the critter was. The poor lizard is missing part of his tail. I doubt either of our cats were responsible.

He was promptly captured and not at all happy about his situation.

However, he was extremely happy to regain his freedom outdoors.

The end.

{Disclaimer: no critter was harmed in the making of this tale.}

{Note: I know that the pictures are of poor quality. They were taken in a hurry. But still, they make for a good story...}

Friday, December 16, 2011

Link Roundup

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

{Paper Wasp; Snapped on 8/13/11 with a macro lens}

Me: My, What beautiful stripes you have!

Wasp: All the better to sting you with my dear.





I am finally getting around to process tons of pictures that I have let languishing in a folder. I was surprised to see a couple, including this one, that came out really well.

{By the way, these wasps are not Yellowjackets. The stripes in the picture above are distinctively different from Yellowjackets. I do not destroy wasp nests or kill them unless they are aggressive and/or they are in a bad spot as wasps are beneficial to the natural environment.}

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pictorial Monday: For Foodie Lovers! {Bread}

Way back in August, we turned the kitchen into a photography studio and Dan took all the pictures. For the life of me, I cannot remember which recipe I used to make this bread. This is the closest recipe I could find that matched the pictures. We've since moved on to making wheat and honey-oat bread. So, the original recipe is lost.

There are tons of recipes out there for making bread and they're all more or less the same. I remember that I chose to use active yeast instead of instant because it was what I had on hand AND I'm most comfortable with active yeast. We are trying to use instant yeast now that we have that on hand.

I also know I chose to NOT make it in my kitchen-aid mixture like the original recipe indicated. I just love making bread the old-fashioned way. So, I chose to do it all by hand.

Mix warm water and yeast per package directions

Add the rest of the warm water

Was this warm butter? It looks like melted butter to me!

I know this was salt!

Dump the Flour

Start mixing

Start Kneading

Two extra hands help!

Making bread is very therapeutic!

Dump in a bowl that has been buttered up or just use Pam!

Cover and set it aside in a out-of-the-way spot (I use the oven if not in use).
Let rise until double in size.


Punch down.

Roll out.

If I remember correctly, the width is approximately the size of the loaf pan and the length is about twice the size of the loaf pan.

Roll up into a log shape. Tuck ends in.

Dump it into a greased loaf pan and let it rise until double in size.


Bake until done.


Ohhh, butter makes it even better!

If I remember correctly, the original recipe calls for doing this several times. I only did it once. It's fattening enough! But, it sure does make the bread look nicer.


And, serve!

This bread is delicious and we made it several times. But, I have since moved on to making more challenging and healthier bread. I really really like the honey-oat version I found. I need to make it several more times to iron out the kinks in the recipe. After all, I am a novice baker of breads. Ha!