Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Days Like These...

Gotta love living in southwest lately (with apologies to my Northern readers). Tuesday was an unbelieveably perfect day: clear blue skies and temps in the 60s.

And then there's the bald eagles. Yesterday, I counted 15 of them. There were easily a dozen more that I could not confirm -- my "rule" is that I have to see a mature one with the terrific white plumage in order for it to count.

Time will tell, but there may be two or three eagle pairs nesting in Thomas Hollow. I have seen them soaring over my house three days in a row.

Eagle spotting is somewhat like whale watching. You scan the horizon, hoping to get a glimpse of this elusive species. Often, they appear when you least expect it, or when you are least prepared with the camera. And even when the camera is ready, you instead become mesmerized by their beauty.

I know how lucky I am -- some people have never even seen a bald eagle, and I get to admire them on a near-daily basis.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I spent the Eve with my sister-in-law's family. It was a lovely evening of laughter, good food and plenty o drink! I paid for it somewhat this morning; note to self: don't drink Amaretto and Coke then switch to spumante!

This morning, Dad and I drove back to Waterloo and spent most of the day with the King family. I opted out of the poker game, deciding to save my money for a swing through the sale at Super Target on Friday!

Tomorrow, I head back south to warmer climes. Have a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jamie

Greetings from snowy Iowa! I'm typing this on my BlackBerry -- yes I know I'm a big nerd.

The drive north was uneventful, as the weather's cooperated so far. It even warmed up to the 20s for my visit.

My dad and I are packing up the truck for the 3-hour trip up to Mankato to celebrate his birthday and Christmas.

I wish all of you Christmas joy, however you are spending the holiday!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hello, Friday!

Happy Friday! I can't believe it's less than a week until Christmas. I've started watching the weather to plan my trip up to Iowa. Right now it looks like Monday is the best day, but that will probably change several times over the weekend.

The Christmas cards have been rolling in. I love seeing the family pictures and reading the "newsletters" people often include with them. I'm hoping that this card tree will be full by next week -- even though I haven't even thought about sending MY Christmas cards out yet!

I just had to share this photo:
I think it's circa 1978 or 1979! Cute, eh?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Counting down to Christmas

Another grey, cold and wet day here in the hollow! Even the dogs are tired of the cold and ice. Tomorrow's forecast calls for 50-degree temperatures. Take note of the Dutch art circle in the lower right-hand corner of my right window. It was a Christmas gift from Joyce last year & is supposed to bring luck in love. It seems to have worked its magic!

Thanks to my handy bottle of Modge Podge, I'm almost finished with my final Christmas project! Once that one's done, all that's left is the wrapping and some baking, and I can relax for the rest of the holiday!

I'm getting excited to hand out gifts -- some lucky folks will get theirs this weekend. I plan to bundle up and head up to the freezing north on either Sunday or Monday, depending on what the weather decides to do. Even though I spent 30 years in Minnesota, I'm cringing at the thought of below-zero temperatures. I know several of my readers are rolling their eyes right now -- sorry y'all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The un-photo blog

No photos today.

If I had been a little bit faster on the draw, I would have had a very neat one of a very realistic Santa walking through a parking garage in Springfield. But alas, I was too slow with the camera phone(or perhaps just mesmerized by his presence?).

The weather here has been cold (for the area, at least), and we are getting some freezing rain. I'm happy to be at home and know that I will be warm at night sandwiched between two snoring dogs.

I finished a fabulous project yesterday, and it's one I'm really excited about. Only two other people know about its existence! I can't share it here, as the recipient is one of my readers! I have one more big project that I plan to finish tomorrow, and then I am done a week early.

After Christmas, I will share photos of Christmas projects. Some of them will be available on the Cottage Studio page at

Monday, December 15, 2008

In the Doghouse

I'm only as good as my word: I said I'd have two blogs today & here I am with the second installation.

Over the weekend, Will and I built a doghouse for Baxter. (OK, so Will did 99% of the work and was the brains behind it.)

This is not going to be just any doghouse, it's a custom-built one made to match my house! I had a ton of leftover cedar shakes from this summer's porch project. Those, plus some old tin for the roof, make a cozy home for Baxter. It's not done yet, as we ran out of time and daylight -- I will post more photos when it is completed!

Catching Up

While I haven't been blogging, I *have* been taking photos!

Here's a catch-up for those of you who have been compulsively checking for updates.

We've had some cold weather sandwiched in between some gorgeous days. It was 67 degrees yesterday...and only 15 and snowing today! But I can't complain, as it is in the negative numbers up north.

Friday, I baked two batches of cookies. Baxter thought the Gingerbread cookies smelled *really* good, but he still didn't get any. They are supposed to be snowflakes, but they look more like flowers. Go figure. I finally found a cookie press at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago -- and it is going to get a lot of use this winter! Since we're having some cold weather today, I want to make another batch, but I'm out of butter. My waistline doesn't need more cookies, so it works out in the end.

Watch for another blog today. I can't wait to share Saturday's photos!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Perfect 10

Getting this in with just two hours to spare.

It's been a great day. I got to spend part of it shopping with one of my favorite people on the planet. And my dad rolled into town for a visit. After a quick trip to Lowe's for some supplies, we met up with Will for dinner.

My dad made friends with Murphy, much to my surprise! She does not like strangers, a fact that she's proved several times already. However, when she finally came out of her hiding spot in the bedroom, Dad bribed her with a treat and she practically crawled into his lap!

Picture of the day: Nothing says Christmas like Santa Claus:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 9

I'm getting in the groove of this, finally! Despite going to Springfield for an appointment, finishing up some Christmas and craft shopping and then driving home on near-icy roads, I'm blogging -- with photos. Of course, I'm fortified with a cranberry vodka as my reward.

As you can see in the photo at left, I shopped. I think I'm done. Now I just have to finish up some craft-y projects and wrap, ship and give away everything! I love that part of Christmas.

I've been going full-speed-ahead with projects, and my craft area is a disaster. Here's a sneak peek at two of my projects. The photos are obviously cropped so as not to spoil some surprises:

'Til tomorrow. Stay warm!!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Yeah, yeah, I know. I said I was going to do a December Daily, and now I just went 3 days without a photo! As they say in LOLcat world, Epic Fail.
Sometimes, our best intentions just aren't enough to get the job done correctly. {I wonder what the word is under the coupon sticker! Any guesses?}

I had a fabulous weekend & neglected the camera. Besides, most of my Christmas stuff is being kept under wraps, as they are part of Christmas presents.

We've had some nice weather lately, but winter is coming. For now, I'm enjoying the clear skies and warm temperatures.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dreaming of a pink Christmas....

My excuse for not posting yesterday: I was working on a top-secret project & neglected to even pick up the camera.

This post is for Brenda, my fellow pinkaholic. (And the one who so kindly pointed out I didn't post a picture or a blog yesterday!)

My quest for PINK Christmas decorations is finally over. I not only found the perfect pink ornaments at Hobby Lobby yesterday, but they were half-price! And they look pretty cute on my little white, lighted tree. I tried to pose a dog by the tree, but they were pretty uncooperative -- so I will spare you from looking at yet another dog picture today.

I'm subbing for a fifth-grade class at a local school tomorrow -- wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Homemade Holiday

Day 2 of December Daily, and I did not do a good job of taking photos today. There really wasn't anything interesting to snap!

The two-dog household is going really well! The dogs are having a ball. I must say that two dogs farting is not pleasant (although it's nowhere near as gross as my skunk-sprayed car right now), and it's much harder to keep the house clean. But it's worth it in the doubled amount of love I get in exchange!

As you can see, they are getting along famously. Baxter even "lets" Murphy on the couch -- as long as I'm not already in it.

This year, I've gotten in even deeper with handmade holiday projects. I'm branching out beyond the usual handmade Christmas cards and into some new crafts. I just finished my latest project, and since it's not a present intended for someone, I'm posting a photo.

This project was inspired by Ali Edwards. I purchased a box of vintage buttons at a garage sale this past summer, figuring I could use the buttons for a project "someday." Well, that someday was tonight. It took nearly 400 buttons and pins to complete! The photo does not do it justice. I may keep it for myself, or I may add it to the Cottage Studio page on

Monday, December 1, 2008

2 Dogs are Better Than 1

Over the weekend, the dog population at my house has doubled. Baxter & I have welcomed "Murphy," a female chocolate lab, into our household. While it's a temporary situation -- Will is moving and needed a place for her -- it is going to be hard to give her back. She's sweet and mellow, and well-trained. I'm hoping some of this will rub off on Baxter!
As you can see, we've had some snow here in the Ozarks. It's definitely December. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean the local wildlife is all hibernating. Driving home in the ice and snow from Rogers last night, I was happy with the way the new car handled the weather (and happy that I had 10+ years of experience driving in Minnesota winters!)...and then I hit a skunk. Needless to say, my car and my yard absolutely REEK of eau de skunk. A trip to the fancy-schmancy car wash with an undercarriage wash is definitely in order, as well as some industrial-sized air freshener. PU.
Today's December 1. This means two things: putting up Christmas decorations and the beginning of my December Daily album photographs!
PS: Please check out -- the site is slowly becoming fully functional!