Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I think the last of the pictures I took in Nov. are scenery and bunches of beautiful leaves (which I'll now have to post after Christmas). I really haven't taken many pictures in December, probably because where we are walking now is not that interesting, nor are there many bright, beautiful colors to grab my attention. Plus, with the frigid cold, there's no way I want to pull my hand out of my glove and fumble around with the camera (especially with no happy spots of color). I need my bright happy spots of color. The winter with its bare leaves and dead grass doesn't hold much beauty for me. My soul goes into hibernation along with the animals, the leaves, the grass, the flowers, and comes alive again with the spring! (I could not make it living in Alaska.)
Anyhoo, just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! We'll be at home for Christmas and I'll be visiting, playing, and helping in the kitchen so you'll have to find some way to live the next few days without a new post from me. I'll be back to posting next week and hopefully with some lovely shots from our time together (will try to get more people in these shots as the people I'm with are very important to me!).
If this happens to be my last post for 2008, then I want to leave you with a blessing (always a blessing): May His love heal your heart, His grace see you through each day, His peace lift your burdens, His arms enfold you to hold you close, and may 2009 be a year of great blessings in every area of your life.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
In between appointments, we shopped at several stores and of course, we had lunch. We ate at P.F. Chang's where we had this cute (young) waiter who was really nice to us. When we left, along with his tip, I wrote him a note to tell him how much we appreciated his kindness and smiles. I signed it the "Three Lovely Ladies." I hope it brightened his day. Too often, we don't tell others, especially strangers (or even family), about something they've done that we really appreciate. I think it means a lot to hear that something about you is appreciated. I can still recall going through a drive-thru window at Long John Silvers/A&W and having the guy who took my money inhale and say, "You have the most beautiful eyes." I appreciated it (and continue to remember it with fondness).
I think I've gone off on another tangent, haven't I? Well, I can't use the "I'm tired" excuse, but can I say that all the packing/planning/preparing has gone to my head?
Anyway, we had a lovely day and I'm glad we had the opportunity to be together.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I don't know if this means anything or not, but the geese have not left yet. I kept figuring they'd fly somewhere else if it got too cold (like south for the winter?). I figure it can't be going to get too cold yet seeing as how they are still here. Maybe it is wishful thinking on my part as I don't really like the cold (or extreme heat for that matter).
The other night, I attended the only Christmas party I got to attend this year. The thing was that it was virtual instead of actual. It was hosted by a wonderful author at a virtual place called "Second Life" where you go in and create a virtual you. Evidently, virtual reality is quite popular. This was my first experience with it and I really wanted to attend this party as it was going to be filled with authors, agents, writers, readers, etc. and I thought that sounded like fun.
I followed the instructions and went to Second Life and signed up. I came up with myself an online first name, then they have a list of last names to choose from (I chose Goldshark--it leapt out at me). Then, it basically deposits a virtual you (that you've picked from a lineup of around 10 avatars) on this island where all newbies go to figure out how to move around, change your hair, shape, clothes, etc.
I was standing there on this island trying to figure out how to move when I was approached by this guy. This is how the conversation went:
Guy: So, have you figured out how this works yet?
Me: No, I'm not very good at this.
Guy: Do you know if people can be intimate here?
Me: I have no idea.
Guy: Want to find out?
Me: No thanks. Good luck finding who you are looking for.
Thankfully, he walked off after that. It was slow going getting around, trying to change my clothes (never could get the skirt of the dress I was wearing before I changed clothes to go away so it left me in a hot pink top, white pants, with that pink polka dotted skirt swirling around my hips). I really wasn't very good at moving around, but I thought it was good enough to attend the party.
I started trying to log into the party site at 4:00 pm my time. It took me an hour and a half to get logged in. Turns out that our computer doesn't really have enough memory to run that program, even when it is the only program open on the computer. I finally managed to get into the party at 5:45 pm and I valiantly tried walking around to get familiar with the layout. It really was beautiful. It was this giant tent set up in the middle of this winter wonderland. They had ice bumper cars, ice skates, a sleigh, an ice sculpture merry go round (all of which your character could ride!), and a tree under which you could pick up and open a present! There were three other party "rooms" for this author, but I didn't want to chance leaving the room I'd finally made it into.
I was there really early as the party didn't really get going for another hour. I did manage to get myself (slowly and painfully) into the ice bumper car and tootle around for a little bit. Then I tried to walk around and situate myself in front of the screen from which they were posting the ticket numbers for door prizes (actual ticket numbers for actual prizes!). I couldn't do it and after fifteen minutes the program kicked me out. This kept happening to me all night. It would take fifteen minutes to shut it down and get back in then I'd been in for ten to fifteen minutes before it would kick me out again. Basically, I just ended up standing in front of the screen. It was all I could do. But I did have some nice conversations with a few people, recognize a few authors and tell them how much I liked their books, and generally enjoyed watching other people and reading their conversations. And it was pretty funny to see a few naked people running around because they couldn't figure out how to get clothes on. Or they were bald because something had happened when they were trying to get hair. And there were about four others who basically just stood there in front of the screen like I was.
I really wish I had been able to "participate" more and take a ride in the sleigh, ice skate, open a present, and ride the ice sculpture carousel. Never mind it would have been neat to see what the other "rooms" looked like. I didn't even win a door prize (and there were some awfully good door prizes given out). All in all, I spent six hours sitting in front of that computer and I wasn't even in the program a good four of the hours! But it was fun. I probably won't go back to my avatar in Second Life because without the author's party, I don't have anywhere to go. And I don't want to chance hanging around on that island with weirdos. Never mind our computer really isn't fast enough so we can get around better.
I think this author will host another party next year and I really hope I have a better computer/connection so I can have all the fun I can have in the virtual world (with my clothes on).
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This painting went to my Mama for her birthday. These are the exact colors she painted in her new toy room (because I used the leftover paint she gave me). The walls of her room are painted in a way that they resemble a circus tent. So, an abstract seal juggling balls seemed to be perfect. I did take home the other two paintings I'd done with the same colors so she could pick from the three and this is the one she liked best. Happy Birthday, Mama!
The time came for the drawing and I situated myself very close so I'd be ready to get my prize. They gave away scarves, gloves, socks, water bottles, and some wine topper extender things (that I didn't want because I don't plan to take any wine into the wilderness and it would be useless to me). I figured Pooker's number was either one up or one down from mine, so imagine my surprise when they called #310 and he pops up from around the corner and goes forward to claim his prize. They put it in a bag and gave him the bag. He walked over to me and gave me the bag and asked me what he'd won. I told him a ladies size medium shirt. He kind of frowned at me then disappeared around the corner again. I consider myself a size large shirt, but thought I could work a medium seeing it was free and all.
I continued to stand there with the medium shirt in the bag tucked under one arm and my ticket clutched firmly in the other waiting for my number to be called. They announced they were giving away a pair of ladies boots, size 8 1/2 and I was chanting "Please call my number, please call my number" as I am a size 8 1/2!!! I really wanted those boots. They didn't call my number and a man came forward to claim the prize.
After the round of prizes, they announced they'd be drawing again in forty-five minutes. Pooker told me he was ready to go, but I wasn't as I knew my number would be called and wanted to be there to get my prize. He agreed to wait and the next round of drawings found me back in the same place, waiting for my number to be called. More scarves, socks, gloves, coffee, wine extenders, and water bottles. Then they said they had a pair of glove liners and called ticket #314. That was me! I happily went forward to get my glove liners. Pooker bumped my knuckles in congratulations and we made our way to the door to leave.
We got home and I put on my shirt and my new gloves. Love 'em! The shirt is for layering and you can pull the sleeve down over the hand a bit and there is a hole for your thumb on each sleeve (to keep your sleeves from riding up--Fun!). I just love parties with food and door prizes!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
And now, about the above picture. Those are now my faucets. I've got plans for them involving paint. It's just that I had no room to get them back to my house and no room to store them at the moment. Maybe this project will have to be when we go home for a nice long weekend when it is warmer and I can take care of them there.
Here is Brownie in her new purple sweatshirt. Some of the mornings were downright chilly for a city dog used to mainly being indoors. I know she's okay when she's moving around, but it was the fact that I can't be outside with her all the time (refer to my help with meal prep) and it makes my heart sad to see a little girl shivering on the porch. The sweatshirt at least helped with the shivering, but didn't stop the doe eyes from pleading with me to come outside and play with her. (Be assured, we played and walked and sniffed a lot. She loves going to her Nana and Papa's.)
I could not believe it--the price before 50% off ranged from $39.99 to $99.99. I have to say none of them looked worth it. I still could not bring myself to spend $20 on a wreath. That's when I saw the blank wreaths for $7.99 ($4.00 half off!) and I thought that sounded much more reasonable. I then went and looked at ornaments and such to see what I wanted to put on my wreath. I have to admit that I stuck with the cheaper stuff (ornaments were also half off). As I was looking for wording to put on my wreath (I settled for "Howdy"), I noticed the bird ornaments and thought that I needed a cardinal to put in my old nest to put in this new wreath.
I came home and instead of taking care of the things I needed to around the house, I sat down and made my wreath! I really do like the shiny red and silver balls. They kind of reminded me of disco balls (and I do like a good disco ball). I even liked the "Howdy" as I am a country girl at heart. I carefully extracted my nest from the old wreath and deposited it in the new and carefully put my cardinal in and tied him and the nest down. I put it on my door and stepped back to look. I absolutely love it!!!!! What a cute wreath (if I do say so myself)! It brings a smile to my face when I see it and I'm so happy to be able to have a bird in my nest. And the best thing of all? It only cost me $12.00!!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Unfortunately, we haven't been for a walk this way for nearly three weeks now. Brownie and I were attacked by two stray yellow labs as we were walking home on Oct. 17th. It was a strange and vicious thing and the attack plays in slow motion in my mind. I was scrambling to get them off her and she was trying to fight them off me. I yelled "Help" and as suddenly as it began, it ended. We were both scared and shaking. She had some punctures and cuts that were bleeding, so I took her for the vet for help (with tears streaming down my face--I hadn't known the stray dogs were vicious, merely thought they were someone's pets who had momentarily escaped their fences). I feel differently now. Especially since it took me more than four calls to animal control to see if they couldn't get them picked up. Even today, I have no idea if they've been picked up or not. I'll know they haven't been only when I see them again and that wouldn't be good as it could mean we were out for our walk.
Brownie and I are both fine. Her cuts healed. I only had a large bruise. We were protected (although it didn't feel like that during the struggle, but it truly could have been so much worse). I have no idea what mushrooms, leaves, etc. we're missing by not being able to walk where we always do but I'm not able to chance it anymore. I'm having to drive to other places to walk and I'm not seeing lots of things that caught my eye like in this two mile area between my house and here. No beautiful mushrooms. No caterpillars. No lovely leaves. Perhaps the season is over for mushrooms and caterpillars. But I should be seeing some striking leaves unless by now they are all just dull yellow and brown. No more reds and greens and golds and oranges. Pooh pooh. There is something so sad about a naked tree.