Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorite Photo of 2011

The luminous deep red of the coral bell leaves, the shadows, the contrast? Or maybe it was not a very exciting year for photos. It's already 2012 as I write this post, so we are spared the soul-searching analysis of the former year. I don't do "resolutions" anymore.  My best wishes that we all have a wonderful and auspicious 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Bit More Review...

 I picked up the desire to fix up and paint discarded furniture.... it's fun, mentally engaging and might help keep me busy in retirement, someday...

I went to a great quilt show with my friends and saw lots of great ideas....

 MyFavoritePortrait of the Year. FlowerGirl the day of an "End of Summer Party" she planned and worked on, along with her mom. It was a great success.....

The Red Bellied Wookpecker departs from the suet feeder...

The Eggplant flower was a lovely surprise; the fact that we were able to grow many eggplants was even better....Among all the vegetables grown, it was nearly 300 lbs. on just a little patch of ground. Still we are pulling greens and carrots from the beds...

Hub' highschool reunion took us to Manhattan KS. Visiting family members after that meant we visited Abilene, KS. This replica of a pioneer church is part of Old Abilene Town. It was about 110-degrees that day in late July.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fast-Forward Thru the Early Summer

 The prettiest summer lilies I've ever seen in the yard of a run-down house near the Kankakee River on one of the only long bike rides we had in 2011...

 FlowerGirl all tired, silly and still excited after her dance recital....she's a ham....

The Gardener's oldest granddaughter enjoying her birthday with her cousins at Grandma's house....that's a very old family heirloom rocking horse she's playing on....

 FlowerGirl's mommy fell in love with a puppy when they were on vacation and they brought it home....

My yard was full of lovely butterflies last summer, I hope I see even more in 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Fiddle Concert....

...this time last year, our friends visited; as I posted the photo of our favorite fiddler, I lamented that you could not hear the music too.  So this year, we made the room all Christmas-y and video-ed the music. He's about to graduate from HS, trying to decide which great school he wants to attend next year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

BlueRidge Parkway and Roanoke, VA


 ...a scenic photo and spectacular view around every bend on the BlueRidge Parkway, even in the early Spring...

 ...Roanoke, with it's active railroading, rail-related museums, interesting old brick downtown was a fun day of photo hunting for me (some call it "swiping souls").


...my hands-down favorite people-in-action catch of 2011. One photo click apart, the contrast of decades of age difference, and modes of wheeled conveyence---in 50 years, will one of the boys in the top photo be in the same position as the elderly gentleman in the lower photo, I wonder? Only the Lord knows.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Child's Wish for Christmas or Molly Gets the Last Word...

Here's the set-up for this episode, as told by the Twins' funny Daddy on FB
1. They live in a home full of Tattlers
2. Molly's brother Micah has a Santa Claus Placemat at the table
3. The Twins like to use kitchen utensils and implements for un-food purposes
and
4. Miss Molly has not completely learned to pronounce her "R"-sounds yet.

So, while Dad is fixing one of the kids a snack, the Twins are at the table.
Dad hears Molly yell: "Daddy, Micah is fo'-king Santa on the table! Make Micah stop fo'-king Santa!"

So, all ye People of Earth, heed the words of this innocent babe and for Goodness Sake,
Stop Fo'-king Santa and just Have a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seven Springs Farm, Check, Va....




...Hubsy needed garden supplies for the coming season, so we stopped to purchase them at this small commercial farm in the remote Virginia hills. While Hubs selected his items and the young men loaded the car, I naturally prowled around finding visions to take home.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Charlotte, NC...

 ... a city of many neighborhoods, full of parks for playing children....

lovely, picturesque homes surrounded by lust flowering greenery in spring....

 and a relatively new, sparkling glass "downtown" with lots of new condo and apartment homes nearby.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Need to Hurry with this Review of 2011...

 ...The great snow blizzard of 2011...one of my favorite of the neighborhood homes....

 ...a warm-looking sunset in later winter....

...a good catch: deer leaping a fence on an early spring afternoon in Fox River Grove, IL...

...a pretty shot of a comuter train crossing a rail bridge over the Fox River that day....
...a month or so later and hundreds of miles away in Charlotte NC, a strange site frozen in time: a young man and woman parading along quickly in this unusual formation: I wish I'd been able to get a front view of the couple; she acted as if he was not there, she was not distressed even with his arm at her neck. It was like a vision from a strange dream. I can still hear his heavy footfalls.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 in Review: Superbowl Sunday in Northern IL



...somewhere in the far N.W. Chicago 'burbs--near the Wisconsin border--a pristeen, sapphire and snowy chill helped make for a nice walk and pretty rustic photos before going in to the warm hospitality of our hosts for the party. Fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Brand New Bird for the Blog...

A gorgeously handsome Yellow-Shafted Flicker visited the suet feeder this morning while I was at my desk and had my camera handy! I was just able to snap the photo as it was getting ready to depart in a hurry! The bird is larger and more dramatic than the other woodpeckers I've seen here, so far. Where is my Pileated Woodpecker opportunity? That is what I want to know.       It's on Critter Cam

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"World's Most Serious Baby" Speaks Out....

"Oh, hi. Yes, I appear serious, but I'm just a very smart little kid, getting a grip on this new experience called "Life". I'm a semi-regular BlogStar; you may remember me from other posts like this.. I'm the second youngest of the Gardener's grandchildren. My big sister Alice just started going to pre-school (whatever that is) lately, and I like this since I get to play in her room with her toys when she is gone. So, you saw on the last post that we all got together last Saturday with my GP's, my Aunt and my Twin Cousins. Later, Aunt Grace came over too. Not sure exactly what they were doing, but everyone was busy making noise, laughing and mixing up stuff in bowls. Some of it tasted good, but mostly I watched and ate a graham cracker.
They did this activity all day, til I got tired of it, then Grandma and Aunt Grace played with me, fed me some lunch and I probably napped--I don't remember I was asleep. It's like that for a kid like me. Eventually, they produced quite a selection. Turned out, they were making cookies, which I understand!! Believe me, I understand a good cookie! The entire family is full of food scientists, so they know how to rock a kitchen!
I got to help, btw. I made lopsided, red-hots boobs on the gingerbread lady. lol. See, I'm not such a serious baby after all. One of the other kids put a ton of sprinkles on some cookies! Whoa! Then my aunt said to my grandma that when they were kids, they were never allowed to put too much sugar sprinkles on the cookies. (So, I learned, they've done this before!) How come it's ok now? she wanted to know. But Grandma just sighed and said, she guessed when you get to be a grandmother, you learn there are more important things in life than how many sprinkles a child puts on a Christmas Cookie. That makes sense... So, I watched all the action, I decorated a little and I ate and inspected. Quality Control. That's me.  Merry Christmas, World.

Monday, December 5, 2011

At The Gardener's House--with the new kitchen--

 Holiday yumminess prepared by a houseful of pink and pretty little children, learning while doing what they can...Micah is measuring baking powder, with Mom's help...

Micah manages a nice smile, as usual. He's a never-ending source of fun and he's developing a sense of humor of his own....

 This one is busy growing teeth and enjoying the results: the ability to nibble....

 ...while her big sister, Alice takes her role as chef seriously in her darling little hat. Here she's busy pounding a rolling pin onto a plastic bag of graham crackers...

 Molly and her Aunt are working on the same operation...first, the demonstration so that Molly...

...can take over and make lots of little crumbs. I think this was to be for some creamy, butterscotch and chocolate bar cookies. I couldn't stay long but I bet by the end of the day, the house was fully of sweet sugary aromas and the children were full of cookies.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Li'l Pearl ---and others---Want Electricity!

...photo taken by my daughter-in-law near their home in CA. Big wind damage! Huge skylight blown out at my son's school (no injuries since it happend at night); maybe electricity on Sunday.  Amendment and Correction!!!   Good Grief.  I'm told--haha, Mom the photo was from the LA Times!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

More of the 2011 Review...Oblique..off balance...

...pretty strange cirrus sunset from Jan 2011. This photo was likely taken just as the sun was starting to come back to us in 2011. Bad news for Australia, I guess.

I Swore I would Not View Yellowstone Through the Lense of my Camera..

However, I did take a few evocative, misty photos of some bison and early September snow at the Park.