Category Archives: Nature

Busy, But Beautiful Time of the Year

My daughter got home last Friday night.  This fall she has been flying home from school as her “ride” graduated in the spring.  It’s super quick which makes up for the increased cost.

It’s so nice to say that it feels like she’s been home a long time and it hasn’t even been a week yet.  I’m hoping her entire break passes this slowly.

So far we’ve done Christmas shopping, baked cookies, watched movies, and caught up with news.  Yesterday evening we baked Birds’ Nest and Snowball cookies; last Saturday I made Snickerdoodles.  I think we’re set with cookies, don’t you?  If you’d like to see our Christmas cookie baking from 2014, it is here.

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We’ve properly tested the cookies; all are delicious. 😉 Our favorite—the Birds’ Nest cookies with peach Bonne Maman preserves.  The peach flavor adds a tiny bit of tartness, yum.  This is a recipe my mom made from when I was a little girl.  If anyone cares for the recipe let me know and I’ll include it in a blog post.

The morning light was magical this morning.  The light changes so quickly, and my camera was right here!  Got it!

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This (above) turned to this (below) in a matter of minutes.

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And out our front window…

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Maybe some day I’ll dye a skein of yarn called “Winter Sunrise”.  The colors in nature are ever changing and beyond beautiful.

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My last phalaenopsis orchid plant has produced a stem of buds.  It’s still pretty tiny; I can’t wait until it blooms.  This is the orchid we had found in a broken planter at the end of our driveway a couple of years ago.  We think someone put it on the roof of their car and took off; it looked like it had been a gift.

A great way to start the morning—coffee, a cookie, and a little knitting.

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I hope you all enjoy this last Wednesday before Christmas.  Geez, cannot believe it!  Other than me going for a walk, we are staying home today (I think) and will most likely do some gift wrapping.  I’m going to try and finish knitting this little merino cap for the Little Darlings too.  Not sure what else we’ll do today.

Thank you for stopping by today, my friends! ❤

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It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

Hello!  What a beautiful morning we have here in northern Illinois!  It snowed last night, only a tiny bit, but enough to make everything white and beautiful, and oh so peaceful.   The front porch light was on, and it was still dark when I took this photo.  It’s so magical.

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And as light comes to the day, so do the birds come for breakfast.

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I love learning something new this time of year.  This year sock knitting has caught my interest.  Sock knitting seems like something impossibly hard, so I knew I needed a visual class to learn.  So far this Craftsy class by Susan B. Anderson has taught me Judy’s magic cast on, which is how she starts the sock.  I have the toe completed, and am now knitting away at lengthening the foot.  Slowing down the lessons has helped me a lot, and Susan is very thorough.  I have no doubts that I’ll be able to figure out how to make the whole sock.

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This past week I baked another apple crumble.  If you need dessert, like we seem to in our house, this is one of the healthier (Is there such a thing?) ones—lots of apples, oatmeal, nuts, and little sugar.    My recipe is from here, but I keep adapting it.  I found that half the topping seems to work fine for 2 pounds of sliced apples.  We prefer lots of baked apple yumminess and not super sweet—you can eat more that way. 😉

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Even though I have no photos to show you, I have been working on dolly things.  One dress needs a new sweater, and one cape/cuddle cap set needs a new dress.  Sometimes things don’t go as planned.

I hope you all have a most festive weekend.  Take it slow, and enjoy every moment.

Ah, it’s snowing again here, big white flakes!  Bye for now, my friends.

Happy Friday!

I want to say “thank you” to all of you who have been following along with me this past week as each of my girls took their turn to show you their new Christmas ensembles.  This won’t be the end of them.  Hopefully, I will be able to get at least a few more completed during this soon to be hectic season.  I’m not complaining; I love the holidays, but it does get busy, doesn’t it!

Two weeks ago we had some very cold nights and I noticed that one of the feral cats that we feed had nowhere to spend the night.  He is the newest visitor—only being around a year or so.  I noticed he was crouched down in the mulch against the house, at night and into the morning, where the frost could get to him.  I never noticed him outside at night last winter.  After all, Miss Feral has a place; I thought he did too.

His having to be outside all winter without shelter worried me so much.  I looked on Amazon for cat houses and looked at YouTube videos for ideas.  I found nothing that seemed perfect for him, and easy enough for us to do.  I mentioned to my husband about how bad I felt for Morris.  My husband spent what seemed like 15 minutes looking at YouTube videos and found the perfect tutorial!  We went to Lowe’s last Friday night and bought the exact same plastic tub, insulation (ours is a tad thicker), a utility knife, and weather proof duct tape.  That’s all it took!

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I put the house out for him last Saturday afternoon.  We thought it would take awhile for him to trust it enough to go in there.  Nope, he spent the first night in there.  It’s like he was waiting for a house to call his own.  Every time I take the dog out I say “Hello Morris”.  He looks very content, and spends almost all his time in there.

I added his name to the house (with little pieces of duct tape), so the other cats know this is Morris’s house, not theirs.  Ha ha!  After all, the other cats have places to go at night.  Anyway, we were both so happy to make this little guy comfortable, and safe for the winter ahead!

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Our magnolia trees have finally given up and turned.  They still need to drop their leaves though.

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Most trees have dropped their leaves by now.  Winter will be here shortly.  I heard “rain turning to snow” in the forecast.

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The apple tree is almost bare, but this particular burning bush in the backyard is slow to turn, and drop its leaves too.

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The robins are still around.  I’m sure they’ll get out of here before it snows.  That reminds me, I need to get some bird seed for the bird feeder…

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Everyone, enjoy your Friday!

Bye for now! ❤