Happy New Year to you all! I hope
you ushered in 2011 with good times & cheer. Chris & I
stayed true to our plans & had a very relaxing evening... almost too
relaxing as I fell asleep while watching Sherlock Holmes. I
remember looking at the clock at 11:30 & thinking, 'hang in there
girl'. Then it got dark. Luckily, Chris managed to stay
awake & woke me at midnight so we could wish each other a Happy New
I have great news to start of the year ~
The waxwings are back after a winter hiatus last year! And in
force; hundreds of them swirling around in the sky, trilling as they
go. I saw them this morning flying back & forth from this Spruce
to a nearby Mountain Ash.
And then, just like that, they flew off, right when the truck in the
driveway below pulled out.
But they won't be gone for long. It's so wonderful to see them
Speaking of birds, Chris & I have been doing a lot of
research about Panama & have discovered that it is one of the best
places on this side of the world for bird watching. We also
found out about the
The Canopy Tower & were lucky enough to get the last available
room for a night while we are there, one of the top bird watching
places in the Americas! I can't even tell you how excited I am
about this! Chris' enthusiasm has reached fever pitch too, but I
think that's because he found out that beers cost 66 cents on average!
We both are pretty sure we're going to fall in love with Panama!
By the way, I wanted to thank all of you
that sent kind words & sympathy
regarding the lose of our little piggy, Dr. Snuggle Pants. Like
Chris says, "it's always tough to loose a Doctor", especially when the
doctor is so darn cute. But we are getting by & so far his companion, Hugzies seems
to be okay. He's still "popcorning" when you rattle the hay bag &
he is devouring his
parsley, carrots & lettuce, like usual. In fact, I think he's happy to have all the
food to himself... but, guinea pigs are social animals so we'll
keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't start to feel lonely.
Maggie & the Baggie; A Love Affair ~
My cats get the winter blues. So do
I come to think of it, but for them it's much more serious. They
get restless & start chasing their own tails. They walk through
the hallways howling like Banshees. And the worst of it is when
they start picking fights with each other in the middle of the night,
jarring us from our sleep with their warning cries & hissing.
It's just a matter of time before it will
be warm enough for them to frolic outside, but try explaining that to
So the other day, Maggie was bored &
whining at me to entertain her. I was looking around the room
for something that she could attack or hide in when I spotted an old
grocery bag ready to be recycled due to a large rip in it. I cut
the handles off & put it down on the ground.
I swear, this was the best thing that
I've ever done for that cat. She has fallen in love with this
bag. She's convinced that mice live underneath the bag. She likes to
rip at it like it's a piece of flesh, slashing her head around like a lion. She'll sit on top of it for hours at a time
waiting for something to "rustle" underneath (which is usually my
hand). And she'll have long naps in it.
Here she is camouflaged (almost)...
This poor unsuspecting mouse is oblivious to the fate that awaits it...
Bam! Got you mousey, or at least the string that you're attached
Oh Maggie, you are a sly one!
If you have a restless cat at home, give this a try.
Now if I could only figure out something this entertaining for Nu?
Friday, January 7th
My wise & dear friend, Skye has started
her own blog about being the best you! Check it out
She's provides some great advice & thoughtful questions.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Monday, January 10th
Torn between this:
San Blas Islands
If you've been to Panama before, I would love to talk to you.
We've had a lot of snow this season &
we're expecting a lot more in the next few days so I'll try to get
some good photos this weekend of the massive white piles throughout
the yard & in the back alley. It's pretty awesome! I
bet my shrubs & perennials are
feeling all cozy & protected from the cold temps.
I added a bit of orange olive oil (you
could use orange zest) because I had it on hand & it gave it even more
of a punch, but I did cut down the amount of olive oil, if you try 1/3
to 1/2 cup it works just as well. Right before I strung the
chicken on the skewers, I gave them a good smash with the back of my
frying pan to tenderize them.
Yummy, I promise.
It is ridiculously cold here. I'm
going to brave a quick dip in the hot tub, but I think I'm mad in
doing so. With the wind chill it's -34 C. I don't normally
go in the hot tub when it's windy but I had a bad fall on the driveway
yesterday while shoveling snow so I am wanting to soak the soreness
away. There might be some serious regret once I'm out there &
have to run back in.
I'm feeling awfully sorry for the little
birds all huddling the tree branches & puffing out their feathers.
guy's got extra puff in his jacket (photo from the internet)
If I could, I would corral them inside
for a little warm up, but I know that would be disastrous at the very
Stay warm if you're out there today.
* P.S. I get that there is a
paradox between my talking about how delicious chicken is & feeling
sorry for the birds outside.
We've had weeks & weeks of snowfall, so I
went out today to take pictures of the yard. But it was hard to
get a real indication of how much snow we've had from the photos, so I
thought I would show some "before & after" shots from last summer &
August ~ no need for boots & mitts. Ahhh, I can feel the
morning ~ no need for flip-flops & beer. Brrr, I can feel the
August after a fresh rain...
morning after a fresh dump of snow.
Walking into the front
yard 5 months ago...
Walking into the front
yard this morning (after an hour of shoveling).
our front yard in late August...
Photo of our front yard
Okay, okay, so it looks pretty bleak, but
I have to say, it is rather pretty outside right now. I mean,
There's big stacks of white flakes on
And you can't help but be amused at this
picture. I mean, 'how high can it go?'
And look how pretty it is to see the
white snow falling against the dark backdrop of the garage.
Ah... who am I kidding? Get me out
My camera is now off the market.
I am a little sad that it's gone.
After all, we had some good times together. Capturing moments at
family events & on vacations & taking loads of photos of my kitties.
But I think I loved that camera best for the shots of the flowers in
The purple onions in May
The lilacs in June
The peonies in July
And the heliotrope in August
I hope the new owner has as much fun with
it as I did & then some.
I will be taking my little point & shoot
to Panama so there is no stress if it accidentally falls into the
ocean or gets banged up or lost. In the meantime,
I wanted to share some amazing photos of Panama by a
talented photographer from New York, named Irena. Hit the
"slideshow" button in the top right corner to see the pictures in a
larger format. Simply stunning.
We're off to Panama in the morning, be
back with stories & semi decent quality photos (I hope) when I get