NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Friday, December 25, 2015


While decorating the tree earlier this month I decided I didn't want to mess around with the smaller balls anymore.  What to do with them?  A quick google search led me to turning them in to wreaths!  Of course the wreaths I ended up wanting to make required buying more ornaments, but it was gluey fun and it was nice to give the kids something personal last weekend at our Christmas gathering.

Katrina's wreath features kittens 

Cory's wreath crawling with Christmas crustaceans

It was so much fun that I plan to snatch up buckets full of ornaments tomorrow on sale and make more of them for gifts next year.  Other folks get in to making gingerbread creations this time of year, but I'll leave that to those with more patience than I possess.

Grand Geneva's annual gingerbread competition display

Today I'm going to celebrate the good (for us) weather and the fact that our holidays are done by trying to get in a hike on my way out to Katrina's to feed her cat.  However you celebrate this season, hope everyone has a merry time!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Celia and Jewel

Our little family grew again today!  Now that Pumpkin and Katrina moved to Waukesha we decided it was finally time to get a kitten.  Cory and I went to the local animal shelter and of course when I saw all the adorable critters that needed a home...

Meet Celia

We ended up bringing home two!

Meet Jewel

Our other two cats are keeping their distance, they are not as excited about the new additions to the household as the rest of us are.

kitty hammock?

The kittens are for Cory and will go with him when the time comes.  When one of our older cats passes Wayne and I will finally take the leap and get a puppy again.  I'm not in a hurry, especially now that we have other young pets to amuse us.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

They haven't taken a nap yet and they've been here for 8 hours!

We open presents tomorrow.  What will they think when all the presents are suddenly gone?

Don't forget the critters in need this season.  I'm making a vow to mark my calendar and stop at the shelter with a case of canned cat food once a month from now on.  Speaking of those in need, if you didn't see Mandy Patinkin on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert reminding us to exercise our humanity, here it is!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

San Diego Flashback

It's hard to believe on a chilly day in the Midwest but once upon a time I was a California girl.

I've been watching a lot of reruns of  "That 70's Show", which in addition to all those Wisconsin references (like Bob saying "the evil spilling over from Sheboygan") has the added bonus of all the 70's clothes, slang and home decor to marvel over.  


Since we moved to San Diego right before I started kindergarten I don't know how much slang I was using, but I participated in a few clothing fads including lots of polyester, halter tops and probably even bell bottoms.  I took tap lessons and remember singing and dancing to disco, spinning around to make my bell sleeves fly.  My detailed memories are few, but who could forget going to Disneyland?  And Space Mountain, and Knott's Berry Farm, and Sea World....

Not to mention those trips to the beaches and to the San Diego Zoo.

I do want to go back for a nostalgia tour with my mother, which I wanted to do this winter but it might have to wait until next year.  One of the places that is a must for us to visit is the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala where I had my First Communion.  

After detailed historical research, in 1931 the Mission was rebuilt to what architects J. E. Loveless and J. Marshall Miller determined was what the 1813 church must have looked like.  The site of the first California mission has an incredible history, if you want to know more check this link.

Those of you who get to San Diego this winter, enjoy that sunshine for this retired California Girl and don't forget to get some sand between your toes.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Steve's Diner in Moncton

I was going through my photos today to get a recap of 2015 and discovered a couple of shots from Steve's Diner in Moncton that I neglected to post back in September.

I forget where we got this recommendation, but supposedly this is the place the locals like.  I wasn't that impressed personally.  High priced greasy spoon with a limited menu.  But I did like the murals.

Having a little bottle of molasses on the table was different, too.  All kinds of foods are different north of the border.  If you're up that way make sure to really look closely at the chip selection.  Some of the flavors are unbelievable!

I'd like to take part in Monday Mural but as has happened on other weeks the linky isn't working when I try to add mine.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Home for the Holidays

Home for the holidays.  

As usual we are home for the month of December, but still I dream of being elsewhere.  This year my free time thoughts inevitably would stray to thoughts of owning a little retro camper for my solo trips.  And so when I saw these little ornaments on Amazon I had to buy them and add them to our tree.

I made a little headway for the first time the other day by pointing out to Wayne that in addition to being safer for a woman on her own I would be able to do my local short trips in rainy and windy weather.  Often I cancel those short trips if it looks like I might have to take my tent down and store it wet.

When Wayne said he was having trouble coming up with a gift idea for me I told him he knows what I want.  But I don't expect I'll wake up Christmas morning and find a trailer in my driveway.  Can you imagine?  Nothing would ever be able to top that gift!

But as far as gifts go we keep it simple and we just give our kids, each other and my parents each one small inexpensive gift at our get together.  We have all that we need and the holiday shopping season is something all of us are happy to avoid, keeping the holidays joyful instead of stressful.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


Today it was all about trimming.  Wayne enlisted the aid of his buddies and down came the tree on the side of the house so he could get the fifth wheel parked in the back more easily.

I've been busy the past month restructuring the house.  Cory's old bedroom is now the spare room and Katrina's old room is where all the exercise equipment and crafting supplies ended up.  

My tree trimming got finished last night so today I trimmed some cards to send out next year.  This year I used up the last of the store bought ones but  I have enough supplies from my scrapbooking phase to make cards for the rest of my life most likely.  I seek out the gift tags when I'm out shopping this time of year, they are cheaper than scrapbooking supplies and make great accents for homemade cards like the snowmen below.  I just covered up the little tag string hole with an accent.  I also like to cut out stuff from cards that get sent to me and recycle them like the words Joy Peace and Love below.

Katrina and her boyfriend Charlie are doing some trimming of their own, including outfitting Merida from Disney's "Brave" with wings and putting her on top of their tree!

Next up I need to start trimming my waistline, these cold temperatures have got me huddling in the house and adding hibernation pounds!