Thursday, December 30, 2010

We’ll take a cup ‘o kindness yet

I created this video last week to post while I was away. And then, of course, the snow came . . .

The video is a compilation of several of my photos from 2010, beginning with January and ending last week. It was difficult to fit my favorites in, and very time-consuming to sort them all out and get them in the right order, and although I’m not thrilled with the end result, I’m happy with it.

And that’s enough for now.

I fell completely in love with this song after hearing it in a movie. And it’s a perfect fit here, I believe. I was glad to have found it to download.

I want to thank each and every one of you who visits me here, whether or not your make your voice heard. I think we all need to take a cup ‘o kindness ~ for Auld Lang Syne.

Here’s hoping your new year is filled with love.

Your friend,
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For more information on the artist, click to watch on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh, no! Not more bird photos ~

In my imagination, this is what many of you may be thinking. And to you I say, “Yes, Virginia. There are more bird photos.”

Yesterday I probably looked like a nut, sitting outside in the cold and the snow, in a wonderfully sunny spot sipping some tea and reading a book. I had a jacket and my hat on and was wrapped in my new red throw blanket, another win from the Dirty Santa game we played on Christmas night.

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I had the camera outside with me, just in case.

Although I was saddened to have our travel plans thwarted by the weather, it’s really nice enjoying the time off from work this week. And spending it in the sunshine underneath the bare branches of a dogwood tree is rather pleasant, if you ask me.

I love hearing the flitter and chitter of the little birds at our feeders.

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The chickadees are so tiny.

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I’m fairly certain this is a female downy woodpecker. You can’t see it, but her beak is quite short. If it had been longer, I would have said she was a hairy. And there is a huge white strip running down her back.

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This is a tufted titmouse. They often flock with chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers and they are regular visitors to our feeders where they act like the bosses of the smaller birds.

Today, I’m doing some (badly needed) cleaning, hanging out some laundry and plan to once again sit outside in the sunshine. I may go see a movie tomorrow with a friend. Anybody seen anything good this holiday season that you can recommend?

Have a wonderful day, all. And once again, congratulations to the winners of my cardinal giveaway contest!


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Cardinal winners announced!

Well, my cardinal didn’t win over at Pioneer Woman’s site, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win here! The integer generator at chose three numbers for me, and here are the winners of the cardinal print:

#40 – Eileen @ My Evergreen Place

#64 – Christine Edwards

#96 – Deanne Fitzpatrick

Congratulations to the three of you! I will contact you to get your mailing addresses and get your cardinal print to you.

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If you notice that I have #40 twice here, it’s because I’m an idiot and copied #40 twice rather than #64. Believe me when I tell you that the three numbers were 40, 64 and 96. D-oh!

My internet has been a real pill the past 24 hours. Sometimes it’s here, sometimes it’s not. I had a service call placed, but the problem fixed itself, so I selected the option to cancel. I really thought I wouldn’t be able to get on this morning to announce the winner.

Thanks to everyone for participating in my Giveaway and the well wishes on my 3-year blogging anniversary. I cannot believe I’ve been doing this for 3 years.


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goings on at the manor house

Today I took a walk in the snow with George.

It was difficult because the wind thought it was the boss of me.

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Which, of course, it was.

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Hello, pup.

: : : :

I didn’t do much else. At noon, I took a shower and put my pajamas back on.

I felt it was the right thing to do.

I wrote a post and read all of your answers to my questions. It felt good to feel connected.

And I like knowing what you’re all up to.

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I made bruschetta and served it on one of the new porcelain trays that we won in the Dirty Santa game at my in-laws house. I love my new trays.

 They’re from Sur la Table in NYC.

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And then I ate it all.

* Burp *

I watched one of The Thin Man movies that Santa brought for me.
And every now and then, I snapped a bird photo.

Sometimes we just leave the camera by one of the windows where the feeders are.

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I captured this little junco today. I like the light.

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And then I watched the sun set.

And all in all, it was a very nice day.

: : : :

Psst ~ It’s not too late to get into the secret.

Until tomorrow, then . . .

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Little birds and a little secret

It’s Monday morning as I write this and it’s been snowing off and on since Christmas night. And then the wind came.

Our plans were to have left this morning at 3 am to visit friends who live along the Gulf Coast. We were to stay until New Year’s day and now it’s not going to happen. I had a post with a little video for you, explaining that I’d be taking the week off from blogging but the weather got in the way.

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Yesterday I stayed in my pajamas until lunchtime and took photos of the birds at the feeders.
I think this little house finch is lovely.

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I posted this on Flickr and titled it '”Got Snow?” I was thinking of the Got Milk ads and it made me smile. I’ve been posting some shots on Flickr lately and have been liking the community of photographers there.

My Flickr

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The juncos usually feed on the ground, but this little one was high up on the feeder outside the breakfast nook window.

The trick to capturing birds is having feeders and keeping them full, clean windows, and at least a 200mm lens. I’m using a Nikon 70-300mm lens.

One more thing you need is a lot of patience.

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I’ve been blogging for three entire years as of yesterday. Three years! In that time, we’ve moved twice and a whole lot of other things came into play like my husband’s disability after his second brain surgery. But we are here. We are still together. And today, I think the big highlight will be working on a puzzle that I got him for Christmas.

: : ~ : :

If you’ve read this far, I will tell you now that I’m holding a SECRET GIVEAWAY to celebrate three years of doing this crazy thing called blogging.

My very first post – Dec. 26, 2007

This contest is open to my followers only. (You’re welcome to sign up to follow and enter the contest, but this is not a blatant attempt to gain more followers). I’ll be giving away THIS PRINT to three winners. It’s entered right now at Pioneer Woman’s Holiday Bokeh contest and was featured in Group 2.

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The competition is fierce, and I’m hoping it at least gets chosen as a finalist. But it’s yours for free if you win!


Answer this question: What are you doing today? Are you back at work? Going grocery shopping? Snowed in? Returning gifts?

Make sure I can get in touch with you if you win.

Contest will stay up for 48 hours and I will announce the winner at 9 AM on Wednesday, December 29th.

Good luck!
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reverb10 {a photo}

Photo – a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you
from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are,
or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words.
Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.


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I have never participated in reverb10 before, but a couple of bloggers that I visit do, and I was intrigued by this particular exercise.

As much as I enjoy being behind the lens, my dislike for being in front of it is profound. I am not what I would consider ‘photogenic’. And please don’t tell me I am, because this fact has been documented my entire life. However, I do believe this photo captures the real me. It was taken earlier this month, by my co-worker Rich, who makes me laugh every single day.

I had just finished taking photos of the entire 7th grade class, plus all of the Lower School children who were selected for the Spotlight boards in December. I’ve been using my Nikon D80 for the job because I dislike the school’s point & shoot. Rich has the good printer in his office, so I took my camera over to him. He was in the market for a new camera and was asking a lot of questions about mine. I showed him a few things and watched as he tried a couple of shots. I was leaning over the chair and pointing out some of the features, when he raised it and got me. I didn’t know he was going to do that.

I’m usually always smiling at work. And I hid myself behind some texture. Because, well ~ I like to hide.

Check out Reverb here.

Respectfully submitted,

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Just stopping in early this morning to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to thank you for your friendship over the past year. Your visits and your comments are a gift. Sometimes, I feel that this blog is one of the only thing keeping me sane.

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Love, Peace, and Joy

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The holiday beauty of Longwood Gardens

Today I went to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA with my son and my in-laws. It’s beautiful during the holidays and their natural displays filled my heart with joy.

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This is the sight that greets you when you enter the conservatory.

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We followed the path marked ‘Christmas Walk’ which takes you through the conservatory and all of its wonderful rooms.

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I love this room. It’s built on a hill and is full of all sorts of tropical plants and ferns. We’re heading for the rose and hibiscus room, which lies ahead.

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I took the macro lens out of my pack when we entered this room. The scent of the roses was absolutely incredible.

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This is a moss-covered tree decorated with roses, bits of pine cone and ferns that were sprayed silver.

Absolutely stunning!

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When I smell gardenia, it makes me feel so happy.

I need to find this scent in a bottle.

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I was very taken with the wreaths. This one is made of different types of herbs with kalanchoe separating each.

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And this beautiful fern wreath.

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I love these little old men, too. 

I’ve discovered the trick to going to Longwood over the holidays. You show up at 3 pm before the crowds descend. That way you can tour the conservatory, then eat an early dinner at the restaurant which is a short walk away.

That way, when you come out of the restaurant, you pass the crowd that’s on their way in. And you’re treated to a wonderful sight.

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I could never tire of this.
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The fountain display is set to Christmas music and changes colors, but I like the white the best.

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Just a beautiful afternoon.

Tonight I’m watching a holiday movie with my son. Tomorrow I’m baking cookies. And hoping that my youngest comes home for Christmas Eve.

Have a wonderful holiday, my friends. Thanks for coming by.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

New York City at Christmastime

Hello, my friends. I’m home from my whirlwind trip to the Big City.

Ok. It really wasn’t a whirlwind trip -- I’ve just always wanted to say that.

I left early Tuesday with my friend, Margie, the art teacher at our school. We were going to NYC to stay with my son for a couple of days and see the holiday sights. And wow – we had such a wonderful time.

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We met my blogging pal, Daryl, for dinner at Hatsuhana, one of the best sushi restaurants in the city. Before we met her, we strolled 5th Avenue to take in the sights.

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The Saks Fifth Ave 3D projection was static when we passed by, but if we had waited just a bit, we would have been treated to the scene below. Check it out.

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
dressed in holiday style.
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas.

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I’ve never seen the tree at Rockefeller Center in real life. It’s huge!

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With the tree behind me, I’m looking toward 5th Ave. and the light display at Saks. We went inside but they were closing, so we kept walking and came to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which I’d never seen before. Oh, my gosh.

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Hi, Daryl!

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I had a wonderful time and I don’t even care how much my feet are hurting from all the walking. I wish I could go every year at Christmas.

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I took this last one at Barney’s looking into a fish tank display that was built into a wall. That’s my son in the background and my gargantuan hand in the foreground that I believe may be distorted from the angle of the tank. My hand isn’t that big! It does remind me of an old Seinfeld episode, however . . .

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Have a wonderful day, all. Thanks for coming by. And thank you for not making fun of my giant hand.

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