Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Parting Gift from January--Pretty Snow!

It's about time to update my blog. Hmmm, lets see, what shall I blog about? Why, the weather, of course! It seems that's about all I blog about lately. But January is leaving us with a parting gift--4 inches of very pretty snow, and I can't fail to mention that!

I took this picture of the pond from the window of my little sunroom. I was hoping the cardinal sitting on the branch on the left, would show up better, but you can barely make him out. I should have zoomed in on him, for he added that lovely touch of color the photo needed.

This shot of my gravel road, is to the south. I had a photo of it in the fall, which was to the north, where the hill is much steeper. It looks pretty with snow on it. No doubt about it, snow makes everything more beautiful, but I would rather do without it. And the forecast is calling for a few more inches overnight. We'll see in the morning.

I enjoyed being out in the snow today. Then I actually did some writing as well, and a great deal of talking on the phone with friends who all wanted to discuss our snowy weather!

The forecast is for warmer weather moving in by Sunday, so the pretty snow will be all gone. Short and sweet. Just the way I like a snowfall to be.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunshine and Ice!

The relentless bitter cold finally moved out, and the temperatures moderated today. The sun shone brightly, and we reached a balmy 43 degrees! I spent the better part of the afternoon outdoors, be bopping around in the field and woods.
The pond from the distance looked dark, even in the sunshine.

A closer look revealed a thick layer of ice, that finally started to melt around the edges by late afternoon.

My little shadow, Orie (Oreo) followed me around faithfully. She seemed to enjoy being outdoors as much as I did. The two dogs enjoyed it as well, but they took off for the woods, following the exciting scents that the woods provide.

I really enjoyed being outdoors today. Tomorrow, we're supposed to reach the upper fifties, but along with the warmer temperatures some rain is in the forecast for Monday night. I'll take it! Who cares if more snow is in the forecast later next week. I'm enjoying a taste of spring for now!

I hope it's warmer where you are as well.

Have a blessed week, everyone.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Two Beautiful New Awards!

Carolyn at Talk to Grams has passed on to me this beautiful Spread the Love Award. How sweet was that? Thank you so much, dear Carolyn, I appreciate this award so much, and will pass it on in a few days.

And I would like to pass this award on to my dear friend, Audrey who so richly deserves it. I hope you enjoy this award, Audrey!

Old friend Mary at Mary's Writing Nook sent me this beautiful, Young at Heart Award, through the email. I already put it up on my sidebar. Thank you so much, Mary. It's a lovely award, and I love it. I will pass this award on in a few days as well to other "oldies but goodies" in blogland, who I know are also "young at heart."

I'm not sure I deserve these beautiful awards, but I feel blessed to have been chosen to receive them!

And I am going to pass on this lovely award to four "oldies but goodies" friends who I know are Young at Heart.

To-Dear Merle at Third Time Lucky

To-Patty at Old Lady Lincoln

To-Glo at Young at Heart

And to Leann at View from the Eagles Nest.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful award, friends. Please pick it up, when time permits, and display it proudly! :-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Little Snow, A Lot of Fog!

We woke up to a little snow/sleet mix, and a lot of fog! The snow was crunchy under my feet. My driveway was just about the only place where it showed. Since it has been our only winter precipitation this winter, I thought I'd better take a picture of it. LOL. However, Mother Nature is giving us another chance Friday night. But we'll be in the 50s by Sunday. I don't know about you, but I'm hoping for an early spring!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tagged Again--Mememememememe!

Mary, at Mary's Writing Nook has tagged for this new meme, which is to list 15 things that make it great to be me. (Oi!) Since I have done a couple of meme's about myself already, I thought I'd do a lighter, more fun one this time. So, here it goes...

1. When my children were grown and living lives of their own, I decided to follow my dream of living in the country. After all, I was newly single, and the time was right to seek and find my own way of living. And my grown children were happy for me.

2. In August of 1983, I moved to this beautiful Ozark hill country, thrilled to be here, and even the heat of August in these hills, didn't dampen my joy.

3. I brought with me my dear Grandma, who was 83 years old at the time, and had always seen me through thick and thin. She had to be a part of this new adventure.

4. Our family also included two large dogs, and a couple of cats. The dogs loved their new life in the country, the cats did not!

5. My new neighbors were nice and welcomed us with home made peach pies, and friendly smiles. I felt at home among them instantly.

6. As an animal lover, I soon began to acquire more animals to add to my place in the woods. Within a short time, chickens of various sizes and colors scratched around in the yard and edges of the woods. I was happy, so was Grandma. "Csirke, csirke," she would call out to them. And the chickens came running to her. I couldn't believe those American chickens could understand Hungarian!

7. After the chickens, my sweet neighbor Bessie, brought over a couple of guinea hens, as a gift. Oh, goody, more animals. They made noises like a machine gun, and caused a great deal of excitement in the woods. And they were better watchdogs then the dogs!

8. Since I had a pond, the next logical step was to get some ducks and geese, of course! And soon, there were Peking's, Mallards and some downright homely Muscovy ducks swimming around in the pond. Free meals for marauding coyotes, raccoons, Bobcats and even owls, I soon discovered!

9. I also discovered that my nice new neighbors and friends loved to give some of their animals as gifts. It was an easy way to get rid of ones excess animals. I got into the habit of giving them away, myself, after a while.

10. I love rabbits, of course. So very soon, I had some adorable bunnies in my menagerie as well. Unfortunately, black snakes love baby bunnies, and baby chicks much too much, and suddenly there I was, a former city gal, battling black snakes in the Ozark hills!

11. As I surveyed my animal kingdom in the woods, it dawned on me that I was missing one of the most fun animals that ever boarded Noah's Ark-the goat. So I acquired a black and white pygmy goat. Grandma was elated and named him, Kecske, which is the Hungarian word for goat. (Catch-keh.) My dogs seemed elated as well with their fun loving new friend.

12. I loved to go hiking around in the woods, accompanied by the dogs, Dobie and Samson, and Kecke, the goat, who by this time thought he was a dog, too. (Hiking is still my favorite past time in the woods.)

13. I got lost in the woods several times, until my son Greg bought me a compass and taught me how to use it!

14. Those first few years in the woods were full of fun, excitement and even chaos. There is always chaos with a bunch of animals around. But the fun and companionship they provide makes it all worthwhile.

15. Although I no longer have a huge menagerie of domestic animals, there are still a couple of dogs and couple of cats. And there is a large menagerie of woodland animals now that call my woods and field home, and grace my life with their beautiful presence. I am ever thankful to God for the gift of these 24 years in the woods. And remembering all the sweet and fun moments with the animals, warms the cockles of my heart on this mighty cold winter morning.

Thank you for tagging me, Mary. It was fun.

And thank you for reading. Stay warm and have a blessed week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Scratching an Itch!

I have been looking over my old floppy discs that hold hundreds of photos I took with my old digital camera, a Sony, Mavica. My lap top doesn't have a floppy disc drive, so I have been on my old, slow desk top, which is acting like it's ready to give up the ghost any minute, viewing all the old photographs. Can you believe old digital cameras stored the photos on floppy's? Hmm, I wonder if that old camera would be considered a collectible now? Probably not; it's just considered obsolete!

I remember how happy I was with it, my first digital camera, lugging it with me everywhere. And today, on this chilly winter day, I found my most favorite shot of a deer, and I emailed it from my desk top to my lap top. The one you see above, of a young buck in my field, taken about 5 years ago, that I call "Scratching an Itch!" Well, that's what he was doing, scratching an itch, when I aimed and shot the picture. It came out pretty good, don't you think?

The photo reminds me of that warm summer day, on this cold wintry day, and that's a good thing. I hope you like the picture.

I also hope it's warmer where you are. I know it's warmer where Merle is!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More Unexpected Gifts

My friend Eileen's niece Pat, who lives in Broad Channel, New York, surprised me by sending me this beautiful little gift the other day. It is a keepsake of Saint Francis, with some animals and the baby Jesus. Eileen had told her how much I love animals, and had sent her a book with one of my animal stories in it. Pat said she was so touched by my story, that she just had to send me this lovely ceramic piece. Along with it, was a copy of these special prayers:

Prayer for my Pets--

In Your infinite wisdom, Lord God,
When You created the Universe,
You blessed us with all living creatures.
We especially thank You for giving us our pets
Who are our friends and who bring us so much joy in life.
Their presence very often helps us get through trying times.
Kindly bless my pets. May my pets continue
giving me joy and remind me of Your power.

May we realize that as our pets
trust us to take care of them, so
we should trust You to take care of us,
and in taking care of them, we share Your love
for all Your creatures.

Enlighten our minds to preserve all
endangered species so that we may continue to
appreciate all Your creations. Amen.


Good St. Francis, you loved all of God's creatures.
To you they were your brothers and sisters.
Help us to follow your example
of treating every living thing with kindness.
St. Francis, Patron Saint of animals,
watch over my pets
and keep my companions safe and healthy.

I was truly touched by your beautiful, surprise gift, Pat. Thank you!

PS. Eileen said it was hard to keep this surprise a secret, but she did it!

Meanwhile, my friend Jan, gave me an unexpected gift as well. This adorable country girl with her animals. Isn't she cute? I love her. Thank you, Jan.

Surprises are a wonderful way to end the week.
Have a blessed day!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Fun Award

has passed on to me this cute award. This award (club) originated over at Livin'With Me! It is more than an award, it's a club. Thank you Patti!

I would love to pass this on to all my blogging buddies who visit here. You're all Blogaholics, right? I know I am. Show the world and be proud! Lol.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

After The Storm-Sunshine!

The night before's severe storms, spewing tornadoes across many parts of the mid west, never arrived in our area, although I was nervous, and quite worried about them. However, not even one clap of thunder could be heard all night, so I slept peacefully, and was thankful in the morning that the storm had missed us. Then, by mid-morning, the sky grew dark and ominous, as you can see in the first picture I took. Torrential rains and thunder and lightning arrived, terrorizing my two dogs, who were both trying to get under my chair, for protection. The cats slept through it all, unperturbed. And my weather radio announced that we were under a tornado watch until 4 PM. But we were lucky; we didn't get any of the devastating storms other areas of the country experienced.

The storms blew out of here on cue, and by 4 PM the sun succeeded in coming out. Soon, the pond sized puddles that had formed in the field, sunk into the earth, and everything looked refreshed from the great showers of the day. I took this photo of the same area, in late afternoon, and you can see white, puffy clouds floating above the trees, where the dark ominous clouds had been in the morning.

The cattails at the pond looked quite nice with their dry stalks and leaves and pretty reddish tails, glowing in the sun.

And here, you can see the pond reflecting the beautiful blue sky and the leafless trees around it. Everything looked lovely and serene, after the storm. My prayers are with those people that were not as fortunate.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Girl With A Sweet Smile

Musings About A Girl With A Sweet Smile.

A girl of ten,
In her new nautical outfit
In the long ago,
Smiling her sweet smile.

She was the beloved only child
Of her mother,
Holding a basket of flowers,
Smiling her sweet smile.

I have gazed at her picture,
Hundreds of times, as I wondered about her.
What was she like
The girl with the sweet smile?

But I will never know,
And will always wonder
About the girl with the flower basket,
Smiling her sweet smile.

She went to Heaven
On a cold January day
In the long ago, at the age of nineteen,
The girl with the sweet smile.

I'm not a poet, by any means, so these are only little musings in memory of my mother, who died when I was just 5 weeks old, the second week of January 1937, of pneumonia, in Mosorin, Hungary. The photograph is old and faded, and it's the only picture I have of her.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

BRRRRRRRR! And Some Chicken Soup to Warm Me!

The New Year arrived to remind us in my area, that it's winter!
"Baby, it's cold outside!"
Fifteen degrees with a wind-chill of zero but no precipitation. Brrr! The good news is, by the weekend we'll be back in the upper fifties and even sixties.

Some Chicken Soup arrived for the new year as well, and although "fowl" is not supposed to be on the menu on New Years Eve or Day, this "chicken soup" was very welcome. My contributing author's copy of "Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrating People Who Make a Difference: The Headlines You’ll Never Read," looks great, and the stories in it are wonderful. It will be in the book stores in February.

My inspirational little piece also made it into the January issue of True Confession. It's in their "That's Incredible" department. The buzz went around about it in our grocery store, and some of the guys that work in there told me it sold out really quickly! LOL. Even Bob, the stock guy, bought a copy, but told me not to tell anyone. LOL. So I'll have to wait for my copy to arrive in the mail in a month or so.

And a check arrived in the mail as well, from Dave Bordon of Bordon Books, for the "Best Dad in the World" book, which will be released just before Father's Day 2008. Usually, the contributing writers get their checks when the book comes out, but he surprised us all with an early check! Thank you, Mr.Bordon!

So, the year 2008 has begun on a good note for me. They say what you do on the first day of the year, you will do all year. I went out to dinner with friends. Par for the course, for a "social butterfly." Tee-Hee.

My writing has become sporadic though. There are too many other things at this point in my life, that I want to do and enjoy. My daughter says I've become a social butterfly, nowadays, and so I have. Being with family, friends, enjoying simple things bring me much pleasure; they are joys of life that I want to enjoy more fully now.

This poem made an impression on me:

By Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been otherwise. I ate cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took a dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my man. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

(The poet Jane Kenyon died at the age of 45 of leukemia.)

So, in the new year of 2008, my main goal is to be thankful and enjoy my blessings. As for resolutions, they are the same as last year: to be the best Mom I can be to my "human" kids and "furry" kids as well, the best Nana to my grandchildren, the best friend to my dear friends, and a good all around person.

I hope all of you reach your goals in the new year, whether they be lofty or more simple, like mine, and if you made any resolutions, good luck on keeping them.

Happy New Year!