Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cloud Watching

We've had mostly sunny days this week, and no rain. Just the way I love it. The skies have been beautifully clear most of the time, but we have had a few impressive cloud displays...

And at least one really gorgeous sunset.

Now if we could just do something about all this cedar pollen making us cough and itch.... Guess I'm never satisfied.

For more sky shots, click on the button above.

This week I'm also linking up with Photo Friday, hosted by Pierced Wonderings:

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 729

Mutterings for the week of January 22nd. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. Here we go....
  1. Guards :: palace 
  2. Resign :: quit
  3. Blink :: ...and another year has gone by
  4. Curvy :: obese (sorry, but that's what came to mind)
  5. Ripple :: effect
  6. Benefits :: taken away
  7. Too much :: Donald
  8. Stone :: unturned
  9. Funny :: face
  10. Receipt :: bill 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Blue Monday: Mini Blues

Blue wallpaper, blue rug, a couple of bookcases full of books, and a comfy-looking chair. Just right for some cozy reading on a winter's day. I love this room.

And I also love that it's located in this absolutely charming (and also blue) miniature house....

... built by a friend who is an incredibly talented mini-house creator.

For the time being, Blue Monday is being hosted by Magical Mystery Teacher.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Monday Mellow Yellows: St. John's Wort

I believe this is St. John's Wort (Hypericum calycinum). We used to see it quite a bit in Virginia, mostly used as ground cover. Haven't noticed it quite so much here in central Texas, although I think it's supposed to like warm climates and sandy soil, which seems like a perfect match. But I think in some areas it's considered an invasive weed — so not very welcome, I suppose. Still, it produces a very attractive bright yellow flower with five "ruffled" petals and many, many long central stamens.

The name St. John's Wort evidently has to do with St. John's Day celebrations and the ancient practice of gathering the flowers and burning them to ward off evil spirits. And warding off evil spirits sounds pretty good to me right now.

Monday Mellow Yellows is hosted by Gemma Wiseman.
For more Mellow Yellows, just click on the button:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Shadow Shot Sunday: Patio and Porch Shadows

Table on patio

Potted nandina on front porch

Saturday Snapshot: PaPa

I have a huge collection of family photos from both my family and Michael's. More from his, actually. His grandmother knew I was interested in genealogy, so when she died she left all her photos to me — and she had a bunch. I'm hoping to get them all organized and digitized this year, so I've been (slowly) going through all the albums and boxes, trying to put names to faces and figure out where each photo might have been taken. It's really difficult since our parents and grandparents have all passed on now. And our mothers wouldn't have been much help anyway — neither of them cared anything about family history. (Although my mom loved a bit of juicy family gossip as much as anyone, she always told me she thought it was "dangerous" delving too far into what happened in the past.)

But I'm determined to get it all sorted out someday. So I'll keep on scanning. Well, just as soon as we buy the new scanner — our old one doesn't really work with the new computer. Bummer.

Anyway, today's snap is from one of the batches I managed to scan before the system stopped cooperating. Since he was born in January (1896), I thought it would be appropriate to post this photo of my grandfather (my mother's father — "PaPa" to his grandkids) with my grandmother and my mother.

Mamma looks to be about a year old here, so this would have been taken around 1922, probably in San Antonio where they lived. She also looks like she's not too happy, but I imagine that frown is just from the sun in her eyes. Although she frequently used that same frown as an adult, and it could freeze you in your tracks.

PaPa was not a tall man — my grandmother was barely five feet tall and he looks to be about the same height here, although I think it looks like she's wearing high heels. In most of the photos I have of him, he's sitting down. A later photo, probably taken in the early 1940s, shows him and my grandmother with three of their four children — my mother is on the right, with her younger brother and baby sister beside her. There was another sister (the second child, after my mother), and I suspect she was the photographer for this one.

As I look at this snap, I'm realizing how much I'm starting to look like both my grandmother and my grandfather. Funny how genetics tends to creep up on a person, isn't it?

Well, happy Saturday, everyone! And now — back to my organizing.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda @ West Metro Mommy Reads.
To see more snaps or participate yourself, just head on over to her blog.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Full Moon and Clouds

For more Wordless Wednesday offerings,
please visit the website here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Our World Tuesday

A little update. Not much going on right now. The weather has been really awful here in central Texas for the last week or so — cold, damp, cloudy, lots of fog and heavy mists. Definitely not as bad as other parts of the country are suffering, but it's exactly the kind of weather I really hate. Like my mother, I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (never actually been diagnosed, but if you have it, you know it) and my moods are drastically affected by even the slightest changes in the amount of daylight and sunshine we have. I would not do well living in the Pacific Northwest or Ireland or Scandinavia. Lately, though, I feel like I'm there.

Before the mists descended, January has brought us a few really nice sunsets. And the full moon earlier this month was visible for a while.

But for the last couple of days, we haven't seen the sun or the moon.

So M and I have mostly been staying home and hunkering down. He didn't used to be such a weather wimp, but I've been a bad influence. We did have to venture out several times last week to take care of a few medical thingies — nothing terribly major, but important enough not to want to delay until the weather improves. We were very proud of ourselves for actually getting out and about!

Other than that, I've just been reading and organizing my reading challenges for the year (see my blog post about them). Also doing a lot of playing with my planner for 2017 — so far, I'm using my new Erin Condren planner,

but typically during the year I'll switch back and forth between the Condren planner and one or another of my Filofaxes. I guess I'm fickle. Or just not as organized as I like to think I am.

And that's about it. Our world is pretty quiet and boring (and cloudy) right now. Hoping for better stuff in the near future.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 728

Mutterings for January 8th. Wow, it's been a loooooong time since I muttered. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. Here we go....
  1. Boarded :: ... the plane to Hawaii (wishful thinking for a wintery day)
  2. System :: ... failure
  3. Favor :: something you get at a party, or something another party asks of you
  4. Sphere :: a sci-fi novel by Michael Crichton (movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone — an odd couple for sure)
  5. Priorities :: mine always seem to be different from everyone else's
  6. Chips :: potato
  7. Lighting :: incandescent (how I miss it!)
  8. Hopes :: don't get yours up (what my mother always told me)
  9. Standing :: ... still 
  10. Interest :: payment 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

First Monday of the Year

So, here we are in the New Year. No more 2016 to kick around and complain about. I'm expecting (well...hoping, anyway) that 2017 is going to be gentler, friendlier, and more productive. Yes, I suppose that could be too much to hope for. But at least it started off well with a really pretty day yesterday. Lots of blue sky.

We had a fairly quiet holiday season. Didn't do a great deal of celebrating, but we did get to see some old friends, received some lovely gifts, and ate a lot of goodies (especially loved these "tiny pies" at one gathering).

Didn't watch all the usual Christmas movies, but we managed to fit in a few of the main ones (It's a Wonderful Life, The Bishop's Wife, White Christmas). And we finished several jigsaw puzzles — this year, they were all model train-related (with some touches of blue).

And we capped it all off on New Year's Day with the traditional black eyed peas and cornbread.

We still have all the Christmas decorations up — probably won't take them down until next weekend. And today is the hubby's birthday — so we'll still be celebrating for a while yet. Fun, but I think I'm just about ready for some normal life again.

Blue Monday was originally hosted by Smiling Sally.
Now that Sally has left us,
Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor is doing the honors.
To see more offerings, or to participate yourself,
please head on over to her blog.

Also linking up with Our World Tuesday

A Brand New Year!

Happy 2017, everyone!