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January 2011

December <                                                                                                  > February

Monday, January 3rd


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 Year.


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 again!


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.

Thursday, January 6th


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 them. 


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 to! 



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 here.  She's provides some great advice & thoughtful questions.


Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, January 10th


Decisions, decisions...


Torn between this:


                                                  Pearl Islands

Or this:


                                                  San Blas Islands


If you've been to Panama before, I would love to talk to you.

Please email me at

Wednesday, January 12th



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.     


It's really starting to blow my mind that we will be going from close to -30C with a wind chill factor of -40 to close to +30C with a humidity factor of +40


Total extremes, but I'm sure some cold beers & time in the ocean will help us ease into the heat of Panama.  We'll hang out like the sloths do, nice & slow. 


By the way, have you ever noticed how cute sloths are?




The commentary in this video is hilarious.  The guys filming are goofier than the sloths!  

Friday, January 14th


Amanda, a glass beady friend of mine, posted a really good recipe for Chicken Kebabs on facebook the other day so we tried it out last night & it's absolutely delicious! 


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. 


This 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 least. 


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.    

Monday, January 17th


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 & today:



Last August ~ no need for boots & mitts.  Ahhh, I can feel the warmth...


This morning ~ no need for flip-flops & beer.  Brrr, I can feel the cold.



Last August after a fresh rain...


This 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).



Photo of our front yard in late August...


Photo of our front yard this morning.



Okay, okay, so it looks pretty bleak, but I have to say, it is rather pretty outside right now.  I mean, look ~


There's big stacks of white flakes on everything!



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 of here!

Thursday, January 20th


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 my yard: 


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 back. 

December < > February