(click on any photo to see them larger)

Monday, January 30, 2012


NINE birthdays!...9!...all in ONE month!  January is our biggest month of birthdays.  We start right in on the 1st and it goes until the 28.  Every weekend we have 2 or 3 birthdays to celebrate.  Not that I mind at all, they are for some of the most special people in my life.  You know how everyone is always remarking that the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier each year?  Well, I call it the Holiday of Birthdays Season, because we have our first birthday to celebrate on the 30th of October, then a week later on the 6th of November is one grandson's birthday, and another grandson the next week as well as a grand niece and two more birthdays at Thanksgiving.  December, there is an anniversary which we don't really celebrate anniversaries, but it is always my chance to have two grandkids for a couple of days while their parents celebrate their anniversary.  Then on the 23rd we have a birthday.  It is followed by Christmas Eve and we always have a birthday cake for Jesus, to celebrate the most important birthday of all.  We get a week to take down the Christmas decorations and jump in full force for BIRTHDAY MONTH on the 1st.  Birthday Month, most people know it as January, the month to begin diets and getting back in shape from all the splurges they had in December, but come on!  How can a person even begin to diet when you are faced with this kind of party schedule?  I love cake, but by the end of January, I am really ready for a nice tossed green salad instead!

So here it is the end of the month.  I have taken my last bite of cake for a while...oh wait...did I forget to mention that we are headed to Los Angeles to celebrate our grandson's birthday in two weeks?  

Monday, January 16, 2012

 We woke up to snow yesterday morning!  What is it about snow, especially waking up to it that gives me such a thrill?  
I know that as a kid it was partly because we knew that there would be no school for the day.  Not that school was a bad thing, but because it meant a fun change of routine.  It meant getting up and dressed as fast as we could to rush out all bundled up to make a snowman.  We sometimes would bridle up our horses and take them for a walk around.  One year  we had silver thaw on top of about 3 feet of snow...maybe it was more, but I am trying to make a realistic adult guess on the depth, it seemed more like 6 feet in my mind back then.  There was a good inch of ice on everything and the horses had to stop and crack the ice with every step.  Then, snowman built, horses back in the barn, going in and standing over the heater vent to get warmed up again, and having hot chocolate and cookies.  Sometimes it meant no power, which to a kid that was fun too.  Sitting by candlelight to eat, and no TV meant sitting and talking to everyone while we played Monopoly or worked a puzzle.  It meant more time together than the normal routine gave.  
That same excitement happened a few years later when I became a Mom.  Instead of me rushing out, I helped the kids bundle up, watched as the neighbor kids joined mine on our hillside with sleds, sheets of plastic and skis.  Then all of them would come inside, hang their coats by the wood stove and munch on cookies and another generation would pull out the board games and play by candle light. 
 This shot shows the view of the hillside when we first woke up, a little while later it was starting to melt and then even later, another storm moved on through giving us an ever changing view throughout the day.

 I took advantage of the break and took a walk around the yard.  All bundled up of course and hurried back in to make homemade chicken noodle soup.  mmmm....nice cozy way to spend the day.  Can you believe that Netflix now has a video of a fireplace...yep, nonstop fire going, with sound...it pops and cracks and hums.  You can get it with music or just fire.....looks and sounds like the real thing and on our TV screen is bigger than life.  Now just add a scented candle and crank up the furnace and bring on the board game.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

THIS was an amazing sunrise to witness.  I did not do anything to make this picture any different than what was actually out there.  The colors were unbelievable.  Jessi was driving home from her nurse's night shift at that same time and called to ask me just how many pictures I had taken.  She knows her mom!!!  I have been so blessed to be able to live here and see God's handiwork.

Monday, January 9, 2012

 Last Weekend was John's Birthday.  He wanted to go to the beach.  He WANTED to have it be really stormy weather so that he could just sit there and watch the storm come through.  Well, at first it looked as if he got his wish.  It was raining when we arrived.
 We stayed at this place years ago.  At that time each room had a beautiful rock fireplace and they kept a pile of wood outside each door.  I was disappointed to find out that they had 'upgraded' and now each room has a fake fireplace.  It looks nice, but there is no crackle and pop, no smell of wood burning, no mess of little sticks to pick up and most of all, it never did feel like any warmth was coming from it.  But that was fine, I hunkered down with a new book and got lost in it.
 It had pretty much stopped raining by nightfall and that made me really happy to be able to get some blue hour shots.  I love the reflected lights on the water.  There was too much fog out there to get a good shot of the lighthouse.
 The next morning, all sign of his storm had gone and it was a nice sunny day.  Unbelievable that I was able to walk on the beach without a coat!!  There was no wind at all!!!  The Oregon beach at the first of January?  Unreal.  

 The waves were so foamy

evidence of the wind

 All the winds from the past make it look like the wind is still blowing.  It seems that every tree along the beach had this look to it.

I don't know why, but the beach, not just a warm sunny beach, ANY beach is one of my favorite places to be.  I can just sit for hours sifting the sand through my fingers while looking at the waves coming in and going out.  Or sometimes I start out for a little walk and then forget to turn around...until I have walked miles away.  Hopefully, I have my pockets full of great little shells and rocks by then to make it worth the walk back.