Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let It Snow? Not!

Of course a darling little dog needs her own private potty paths! If Darrel didn't make these paths for her, she would sink into the snow & we wouldn't find her until Spring, late spring that is. These views include one from my dining room window (great bird watching spot) & also one from an upstairs window.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The darling little finches gladly share the sunflower seeds with this squirrel who spends a couple hours every morning at the feeders.

White Tulips

White T-U-L-I-P-S !!
Oh they are so beautiful, even with the snowy backdrop. And guess where I found them - at the grocery store, a treat to myself, from ME. Oh yay, almost forgot to include the newest weather report, more snow coming.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blizzard vs Winter Storm

Last weekend we had a blizzard. This weekend we're having a winter storm.
Tom the weather man assures us this is not a blizzard, only a winter storm. So I looked up definitions of both: A winter storm is an event in which the dominant varieties of precipitation are forms that only occur at cold temperatures, such as snow or sleet, or a rainstorm where ground temperatures are cold enough to allow ice to form.
A blizzard is a severe
winter storm condition characterized by low temperatures, strong winds, and heavy blowing snow.

WELL. If THAT'S the case, this weekend's weather is indeed another blizzard since -50º wind chills are predicted, SO if there are wind chills, there has to be wind - oh and let's not forget we're to receive MORE snow, which means.... we are having ANOTHER BLIZZARD!!! Calgon take me away!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Okay, just trying to warm myself up. Actually, I shouldn't complain, we've had a tremendous warm-up, it's only -5 now with winds only 8 mph!!! This means the chill factor is probably only about -15.
Yes, I realize it isn't actually winter yet.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bohemian Waxwing

This little Bohemian Waxwing was hunkered down close to my window. I'd been watching him/her frolicking in the tree, snacking from the Mountain Ash berries and also the dried up Edelweiss grapes on our fence. My cousin Gloria called me from Minneapolis while I was bird-watching and I didn't want to say 'hey, I MUST go now & take a picture of this darling little bird' SO I took the picture while yakking to her. I took it through the dining room window so it has a frosty effect, but believe me, the weather outside IS frosty and oh so windy, with temperature of about -18 and who knows what the chill factor might be - for sure I would rather not know. BRRR.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gingerbread Church

Instead of talking about the weather outside - which is frightful and purported to be the worst winter storm in 10 years, I wanted to post a picture of this delightful early Christmas gift from Cherie!! Rachel & I found this a couple days ago, but I decided against buying it for myself since I didn't really NEED it, so Cherie & Rachel together decided that I really DID need it. Is this not one of the most darling glass gingerbread houses you've ever seen in your entire live-long life?? I do have a history regarding gingerbread too - but that story is for another day.

Monday, December 8, 2008


My brother Rodger made this wren house for us last summer. It has an Adirondack chair on the porch which you can't see because it's covered with snow right now.
I would like to know what 3 inches of snow REALLY means! Darrel told me this morning we had 3" of snow. So WHY does the snow go past my ankles & my feet got all wet? According to my calculations, that would equal at LEAST 5 inches!

Darling Scarlett

Family On the WAY HOME

It is SNOWING outside, trillions of flakes are falling. Yesterday Darrel shoveled our place AND Jason & Jenelle's new place and today gets to start all over again. Saturday morning, Mike & Cherie, Rachel & Jay, winged their way to sunny Florida to help Jason & Jenelle move back to Minot!! They are all driving back with a big U Haul full of STUFF and of course Archie, J&J's high-energy dog. They should arrive here Wednesday evening, give or take a few hours. Jason is going to work for/with Darrel, selling State Farm Insurance. Jenelle will stay home for a while, expecting Gabriella, their first baby, end of Feb/early March. Jenelle is an audiologist and may, at some point, work part-time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Tree

Well here it is - my new tree for the year. Many moons ago, I declared I wouldn't ever have a fake tree. Then we got new carpet, and the Christmas tree dripped sap all over it, and from then on we've had a FAKE tree. SO. I get these whims and become easily bored with the status quo, so every now & again we need a different tree, much to Darrel's chagrin. A few years ago, I just HAD to have a spiral tree, and it was really neat, but I grew disenchanted with it & sold it to my sister Connie. Then we had a tree with the lights already in it, and I bought new gold & red decorations for it. I DID use that tree at least 2 years. So this year, I noticed this marvelous tree at Hobby Lobby, it looks like it's covered with snow, ice, and red berries and pine cones. Just seeing it made me KNOW it was time for another change, but only if Darrel would consent to buy it, and then the previous tree would be purged to Cherie & family. So Darrel agreed, we got this new tree, he said it should last us at least ten years (!) however he said that about the last two and will forget about his remark in a couple of years. SO this tree is SO huge it couldn't even be placed in the designated spot. It is 64" at the base!! Lord love a duck and then some. So I've had to re-vamp the entire room. Here's the picture .... Rachel helped put it up, PLUS it needs NO decorations!!!!! Rachel also helped me stuff the turkey which she felt was somewhat gross, and she also helped me make the scalloped corn AND helped with dishes today about 3x!! Earlier today I made buns and also babysat Jay & Rachel & little Alliyah, who thankfully took a 1.5 hour nap!! Miracles do happen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Memory is a country where I can go to see your face - but where do I go when I miss your embrace? from Billy Sprague's book Letter to a Grieving Heart.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Early Christmas Present for Scarlett

Can you read this pink font easily? I wanted it to match Scarlett's new fleece hoodie. Connie gave this to her for Christmas. Now, if I remember correctly, Connie gave her LAST year's gift really early too - which was also a fleece hoodie, pink. This year's hoodie is longer and covers up Scarlett's entire body, it's like wearing a blanket!! She just loves it, although whenever I attempt to pose her for pictures, she gets ALL shook up and nervous and thinks she's done something wrong...I had to take about 8 pictures before one showed up that she didn't make her look totally dippy.

Petunias, Violets Intact Nov. 17

The violet story continues....the sun is shining today and tomorrow it could get up to 49º which should melt most of the remaining snow. My petunias and violets behind the deck and violets next to the Hosta rocks are STILL green and thriving! This is mind boggling.... we are in ND! If the snow melts in the landscape rocks tomorrow, there are thousands of violets underneath THAT snow...looking forward to seeing how they're doing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jay and Scarlett

I suppose I'd better include a picture of Jay. He was out with the hunters today ... looks like he has a bit of chocolate on his lips - that would be from the chocolate-covered pretzels I sent along with the guys. We girls had much more fun than they did, I'm just sure of it!
p.s. Jay is 8, Rachel is 10.

Books and Boxes

Rachel & I have had a fruitful day. After church and lunch, we made little books...and little boxes. THEN we made gingerbread cookies. Afterwards, Rachel just had to make more little boxes - she loves making them, and I KNEW SHE WOULD LOVE it!! She has a stack of 9 little boxes that nest, and she is finishing some Christmas nesting boxes. Inside the tiniest boxes are a snowflake and a tiny little flower. Maybe Rachel is a bit compulsive ... just like her Gammie????

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Scarlett went to her groomer (Linda) today......she never enjoys it but oh she looks SO good again!

November Sunshine

I've had a couple of blue days...
however, the snow is melting fast out there and the sun is actually shining after two days of gray & dismal. SO I just let Scarlett out & noticed my violets which are now showing again since the sidewalk snow is melted away - so I dug underneath the snow to find the violets behind the Hosta rocks. These violets hadn't frozen yet when the snow appeared, and they were actually protected by the snow! So here they are on Nov. 13 in most of their glory.......what a gift from my Father God today.

Mom and Rich

Mom and Rich -
Minot had a
ponies' fund raiser in 2005; one day we all went to see the horses which were located at different businesses in town.
What bittersweet feelings,
a beautiful picture of two people who were closest in my life - and both are now gone from earth.


Today it's my turn to babysit Alliyah - she is Missy's baby, 4 months old. (Missy is my niece, Connie's daughter.) AND the sun is shining outside even though the winds are supposed to come up & blow us all away.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Madelyn Rose aka Maddie

This is a picture Connie took of Maddie a couple years ago - isn't this a great picture!? I had it made into postage stamps & surprised Connie with them. I suppose I really should post some pictures of my grandkids one of these days! (Human grandkids.)

Busy day, terrible roads in Minot. Possible we could have another winter storm .... the geranium is still joyful with the bloom(s) intact. Here's a quote I did a couple years ago.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Scarlett is a bit bummed by the snow - she just can't believe we make her go OUTSIDE for bathroom privileges when it's so cold and snowy. Darrel used the snowblower on Friday to make 'poop paths' for her in the back yard - otherwise she'd sink in the snow & how could she accomplish ANY business that way. Although, if the paths weren't there, she would refuse to go and would hold it until later in the house where she would secretly do her thing on a nice warm carpet or rug.

Frosty Sunday

It's a chilly and frosty day. Some of the frost has already blown off the trees, but I went out anyway to snap a shot of one of our Mountain Ash; there are still some leaves hanging onto that tree, and also some berries that the robins didn't finish during their ritual antics of inibriation - speaking of which, have you ever noticed how the robins enjoy those berries during late fall when the berries are obviously fermented? The birds fly & swoop SO low and almost hit and sometimes DO hit windows, usually to the detriment of their lives. Sometimes they are just stunned and after sitting with dazed looks and open beaks, fly away. We have about 4 dozen robins who partake in this autumn 'happening' every year. It's fun to watch....but the robins are gone now and none stayed. The last 3 or 4 winters, we've had one robin stay here, all alone, for the cold, hard winter.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Geraniums in November

In early May, Rich gave me a planter full of flowers - my first planter of the season. He told me he chose it because one of the pansies in it wasn't perfect, it was kind of bent and the flower was hanging sideways. Usually I don't keep planters when summer's over, however since this one was from Rich, I brought it in and will try to help it live through winter. Yesterday the tiny little geranium was blooming!! What a spot of sunshine during a dreary and gray day. The geranium had all but died off by summer's end, but I carefully pruned it and leaves began to grow again. They are tiny little leaves, so it surprised me to see the bloom on it.
Today, Minot streets are covered in ice and ruts - it's treacherous out there, bumpy and slippery. Tom the Weatherman says we could have this ice for several more days.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Maddie, Libby, and Scarlett

Connie took this picture one day because the little cousins looked so cute - although they didn't enjoy being kenneled while she ran an errand.

Scarlett's Cousins

These are Connie's Yorkies, Libby and Maddie; this picture was taken in my back yard.
They are Scarlett's best friends - the three of them have lots of fun together. Connie had a birthday party for Maddie a while back, complete with real cake for the rest of us, and doggie treats for the puppies. Connie also made frosted sugar cookies in the shape of bones, they were delicious! The homemade chocolate cake was equally delicious (Cake is my favorite food!)

Colored Pencils

I'm bored .. so went to my files and found these ATCs, theme: Colored Pencils. I used initials of each member in the exchange group...except for one short name, Bev.


Here's our deck today. The snow is at least 3 feet deep - schools are closed, so are many businesses. Amazingly, my brother Rodger, who lives only 50 miles north of us, received only about two inches of snow!! Some highways are still closed, even part of the interstate is closed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


My little violets are covered with about a foot of the white stuff.
I crave Spring.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I've made a discovery! If you click on any of my pictures, you will see a clearer, full-size version of it....and could even conceivably use it as a background by right-clicking on 'set as background' OR send it to an e mail address. To return to my blog, use the back-arrow.

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)

I make Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). ATCs have only a couple rules: They must be 2.5" x 3.5", traded, never sold, and on the back they should be signed & dated.
Some groups have themes for ATCs, some have no themes. These are fun to make and trade, much more fun than cooking & housework. Most folks make several or a bunch of the same ATC and number each one of a series, e.g., 1/10, 2/10, etc., especially if they're to be shared with a group. They can also be one-of-a-kind.
The ATC shown here had a theme of Pets - so on the other side of the ATC is a picture of Scarlett. The lettering is my own - I've been learning calligraphy since 1980.
There will be more of my ATC posts coming up...I'm participating in 3 ATC swaps right now; two are monthly swaps and the other is bi-monthly.
If you'd like more information about ATCs, Google Artist Trading Cards, and click on 'Art in your Pocket ATCs.'

Scarlett O'Hara

This is Scarlett O'Hara. She'll be 5 years in December, however I don't know which day in December, which means we must celebrate her birthday for the entire month. In April 2006, my niece was working at a pet store and an elderly gentleman brought in this little dog & with a tear in his eye said he just couldn't take care of her anymore. Missy said she would take the dog. A few days later, I met Scarlett at my sister Connie's house - she was dog-sitting for Missy's dogs...plural here, she had several dogs. I said 'who is this little dog? She looks just like Rhett' (Butler, my Yorkie I'd had for 12-1/2 years and he'd been gone for about 5 years already & I missed him) - so that evening, Missy called & asked whether I'd like this little I ended up with her and re-named her Scarlett, had her groomed, fixed, immunized, & had her baby teeth removed. Scarlett has helped me through the loss of my Mom in Feb. 2007, and my son Rich this past July. What would I ever have done without Scarlett!

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Hanging On"

"Hanging On"
This leaf was the last one on a tree in our yard. It stayed there all by itself for over a week and even lasted through 30 mph winds one weekend. But alas, it was gone a couple days ago, it's probably in Montana by now.

Violets and Hosta Rocks & Connie

There sit the little violets amongst the dried up leaves - what a study in contrast!

The painted rock is one my sister Connie made for me quite a few years ago - she spent over 100 hours (!) on three of these huge rocks, making them into Hosta plants. Connie is a talented gal! She has an entire 'rock garden' of her flowering rocks, which you can see (plus a host of other delights) at her website....

Bright Spots in November

Here they are -growing in a sidewalk crack. There are landscape rocks next to the sidewalk in our back yard...a few of these little violets started showing up a few years ago and each summer they multiply! Even late this fall, more have started to grow.
Today, these little violets are still intact but they're sad because a winter storm is rearing its ugly head and the weatherman said that we could have a bunch of snow by Thursday. Can you feel my pain?
Last winter, I calligraphed a violets quote. By Spring, I had calligraphed two more quotes involving violets, one was for an ATC. This wasn't intentional, and it took a while for me to realize this had happened!

Petunias & Violets Thriving in ND in November

Here I am - at the encouragement and advice of an artist friend known as AngelCatPainter. It seems strange, as if I'm writing to myself. Today is November 3, 2008. This morning, I took pictures of still-blooming petunias and violets that live amongst the rocks between the house and deck - yesterday I even watered them since they haven't been watered in over a month. Remember, this is in North Dakota - thus, little thriving plants in rocks in NOVEMBER are a miracle.