Sunday, February 17, 2019

Mosaic Monday #15 - Life with you is a trip ...


I am feeling the love this month, and not just because February plays host to Valentine's Day.  You see, it's also my birthday month!  Cards, a few gifts and a shower of electronic birthday wishes made me as warm and gooey as a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.  Who doesn't want a little attention now and then?


Sometimes thoughtfulness arrives in a time and way we don't expect.  Like the day Spousal Unit presented me with this gem, a couple of days before my special day.  No, no, no - not a gemSTONE.  A folding utensil - a spork (spoon+fork) - with a long handle.  Why, you ask?  Well, imagine the scene.  You're backcountry camping, and when you are carrying everything you will use on your own little back, minimizing weight is the name of the game.  Who needs pots and pans?  Just reconstitute your chili con carne right in its bag.  But, the average spoon or fork is not long enough to reach the bottom of the bag, and soon enough your fingers are coated with chili as you endeavor to spoon up the goodies there.  


Enter the folding utensil.  Light.  Folds up to stow easily in your backpack.  And unfolds to go where no average spoon or fork has gone before - those corners harboring precious calories that you need for the next day. Does he love me, or what?







So I gave him my heart … my heart sugar cookie from Starbucks!
Speaking of hearts, I adopted a red theme for the house after the Christmas decorations were boxed up for another year.  A stroll around the aisles at the Dollar Store (incomparable source of inexpensive décor) yielded two types of red ribbon, a red/gold mesh, glittery hearts and plastic hearts that resemble hard candies.  I constructed my own bows, and added in natural resources such as red twigs and other flora from our back forty.  And one day, a delicate white doily arrived in the mail, a gift from a former au pair, who lives in Poland.  This hand-made crocheted doily from a nearby village became the piece de resistance on our dining room table.




For my birthday,  a neighbor brought me home-made granola, and a flower arrangement that I utilized as the gathering point for my birthday cards.





To top it off, Spousal Unit (a.k.a. Head Chef) prepared a masterpiece of a dinner.  I wanted a meal at home, so we could both enjoy some wine, not to mention the ambiance of a wood fire.  It was a delight from start (salmon with caper sauce on toasted English muffins) to entrée (three mushroom risotto) to dessert (key lime pie).  

His second gift was as practical as the folding utensil, and one that I had requested - a belt and scarf organizer for my closet.  Yep, folks at this age, it's the simple and useful gifts that matter most. The accompanying card had me in tears … (bold words he added)

Life with you is a trip.  And I'm grateful for every twist, powder turn, bend, detour, hike and off-road excursion, wandering aimlessly tour we take together.  Because no matter what, when I'm with you, I feel like we own the road.

Awww.  Lest you think he is only this romantic for my birthday, check out his FaceBook post from Valentine's Day.

Right back at you, babe, right back at you.  Life with you is the best trip ever.








Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 

Inlinkz Link Party

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Mosaic Monday #14 - Shopping in my Closet


When I retired, my clothing habits changed dramatically.  No more high heels.  Suit jackets?  Gone.  Panty hose?  Burned!  (Well, I wanted to …)

But with freedom comes risk.  Risk that your life becomes yoga pants and long-sleeved tees.  Sweat shirts and leggings.  Or, as we saw one day in town, a type of adult onesie.  Was it pajamas, or a costume?  Spousal Unit and I gave up trying to fathom it.  It doesn't help that Montana is quite a casual place when it comes to clothing.  But I digress.


I don't have anything against yoga pants or sweat shirts - I wear them frequently around the house.  But I know that I am a creature of habit, and sometimes I need to go shopping in my own closet.  What catches my eye?  What haven't I worn lately?










Scarves.

Maybe it's because they are folded neatly on a bottom shelf, out of my regular sight line.  Or that the long ones are sandwiched together on one hanger, which has always bothered me, and since I don't like looking at it, I don't!

So, this week I pulled out one of my favorite scarves and wore it with a simple knot, tied around a chocolate turtleneck and partnered with an oatmeal cardigan.  I was inspired to write this post about scarves, and as I considered the topic, my list of scarves grew beyond those on the shelf and the hanger.  I never realized I had so many!!!

Some are kept with a particular coat.  Others, like my winter scarves (hand-made by my mother or my daughter), are kept in a cube in the mud room for easy access.

Two of my finer specimens are stored upstairs with dressy evening wear.

In the latter years of college, scarf brooches were quite popular - they were made with a ring that you can slip over a scarf. I still have three, and like to use them in creative ways.

You can use any sort of brooch to dress up a scarf or to hold the scarf in place on another article of clothing.












Sometimes I use scarves for decorating, and they have certainly played a role in various costumes over the years.

Scarves have been worn since ancient times; over the millennia, they have signified social standing, served as gifts, and certainly made fashion statements.  In some cases, they have taken on political importance, such as Muslim head scarves in recent years.  Check out key historic events in the life of the scarf here.

Do you have a favorite article of clothing that is languishing in your closet?


Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 

Inlinkz Link Party

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Jolly January


I am so excited to be linking up with some of my favorite memes - jolly, even.  What better way to celebrate the end of the first month of 2019?  Let's take a look at some of the highlights!














CRYSTALS: You only have to stick your nose out the door to find a winter wonderland here.

Or you can just look through the window.


It's been a light year for snow, but when it arrives, you know about it.  One night, in less than 9 hours, a foot of snow.














This ski season, Spousal Unit and I landed roles as Ambassadors at the Whitefish Mountain Resort.  We are blessed to have this view from our 'office.'  Yep, we are in a deep love affair with winter!
Chicken Cacciatore - not a fan of the recipe

COMFORT FOOD:  Do you remember those Campbell's commercials in which the little boy/snowman comes in and melts as he slurps up tomato soup?  In winter, that's what comfort food is all about - a veritable tantalizing aroma that wafts out the door and beckons you home.

I have continued my once-a-week cooking regimen (almost), and two of the three are keepers.

We constructed Meatball Bombs in the midst of the playoff games, so I did not make the time for any pictures.  I borrowed this shot from the Internet, 'cause these are SOOOO good and easy-peasy to make!  (And destined to be a kid favorite with the word 'bomb' in the name)

And - drum roll - my favorite of the three - a recipe I found on Pinterest under the label Taco Pasta.  Since it reminded me of my Mom's goulash with a bit more heat, we have re-named it Mexican Goulash.  It only took one pan and 30 minutes to make - give it a try!

CATS: even our furbabies have adapted to the crisp temperatures (and they have fur!)
Maggie gets a little warmer-upper on the vent

Josie helps with my cross-stitch
Of course, there's no place like a lap or the couch near a human …

This month, we had a health scare with Josie, the younger of our two furbabies at the ripe old age of 15.  She has been urinating outside the litter box (sorry to be graphic, folks), mainly on our new wood floors.  Suspecting a urinary tract infection, off to the vet we went.  Long story short, she has a stone in her bladder that would cost $800 to surgically remove.  Gulp.  Hard to justify at her age, especially with no guarantee that it would solve the problem.  But we also cannot afford to have our floors ruined - what to do?


We opted for some behavioral solutions … and they appear to be working.  One: I am cleaning both litter boxes more frequently during the day.  Two: when I see her use the litter box, I give her a treat and lots of affection.  Three: we put some liquid-proof pads on the spots she had been frequenting, and she has not repeated there or moved to other locations.  My heart is glad - the prospect of the unspeakable had me crying my eyes out!  Wouldn't you, looking at this adorable face?




CRITTERS: Outdoor animals seem to be thriving despite the depth of the snow.  My trail cams may capture different creatures than in the summer, but wildlife is still abundant!
Upper left: Bobcat  Upper right: Coyote
Look carefully at the upper picture, about midway on the left-hand side.  It's an ermine with a white coat for the
winter!  Another day I only got its tail in the picture!
For the last couple of weeks, I didn't realize I had wolf photos.  It wasn't until I was flipping through a bunch
of pictures that my eye caught the dramatic size difference!  These were taken one day apart in the same
location - do you reckon the coyote (top) and the wolf were smelling the same thing?
Do you prefer video?  The other day, I was minding my own business, gazing out the window at the falling snow when a Flicker landed on the logs and started eating flies who had died in the effort to gain entry.

While snowshoeing, an American Dipper kept me entertained with his bobbing and swimming.  Never mind that the stream water must be near freezing!

On that same outing, I took a picture of the lake and realized I had deer in the frame.  Here they are crossing the frozen lake …

CAMEOS: Some of my December pix deserve a cameo appearance in the post.  Just too good to let them pass us by.

This mural is in downtown Cincinnati, on the side of a parking garage.  I have since learned it is called the Singing Mural.  Designed by nationally renowned artist and Cincinnati resident C. F. Payne, the mural is a tribute to the Queen City's vibrant arts community.

Did you or a family member have an Erector set as a child?  During our visit to Union Terminal, I was delighted to see this display.  We had an Erector set, and I can still remember little fingers attaching metal beams with nuts and bolts.  Endless hours of fun constructing and dis-assembling - long before video games or cell phones!!!
If you read my January 19 post, you know about my Mom's 90th birthday.  What you don't know is that our family home was burgled some 20 years ago (before she moved to her current cottage), and one of the items stolen was the cameo from my father that she chose to wear on her wedding day.  Coming full circle, my oldest sister gave her a very similar cameo at the birthday celebration - just a few tears that day, happy tears.

What made you jolly in January?





Linking to:

Weekly linkup - welcome ❤︎
Join the fun.
Our World Tuesday Graphic
Wandering Camera Photo Linky Party

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Mosaic Monday #13 - A Different Window


Do you make New Year's resolutions?  Many people enter January as a time of renewal and deem it appropriate to select some resolutions.  Others eschew the practice as a fabricated custom that rarely succeeds.  This dichotomy triggered consideration of the difference between resolutions and goals.  If the word "resolution" has such a negative connotation for folks, would it be more welcome to characterize them as goals?


Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something
Synonyms: intention, aspiration, design, purpose, plan, commitment, pledge, undertaking


Goal: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result
Synonyms: grail, target, intention, aspiration, wish, dream, hope, raison d'etre
I may be splitting hairs, but it seems to me that the word 'goal' implies a medium- to long-term plan, an objective that can be sub-divided into bite-sized chunks that enable achievement.  A 'resolution' appears more binary - either you do it or you don't.  What do you think?

So, while I might have preferred to focus on goals rather than resolutions, I believe I have a few of each for 2019.  Here they are.

GOALS

  1. Skype monthly with each of my siblings
  2. Tidy the utility room.  I am sure you have a room like this - a 'dumping
    ground' visitors don't usually see that lets you keep the rest of the house uncluttered.  Well, in our case, it's that AND some boxes from the move that were put here "to be dealt with later".  That "later" is now.
  3. Engage in true charity.  In January, I attended a women-only event at our church.  As part of the program, each attendee blindly picks a piece of paper from a basket, and it contains a virtue to focus on throughout the year.  I received "True Charity" - "true charity requires courage.  Let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need".  I am still praying to discern what God is telling me with this … but I am pretty sure that He is ready for me to stop thinking and start DOING.
  4. Archive my blog onto a flash drive or a remote drive
  5. Reach out regularly to distant friends via text or email



RESOLUTIONS

  1. One day a week without technology.  This one has already evolved.  Given
    Drawing - with help from Josie
    that I use my phone for even the simplest of tasks, such as checking the weather, I realized this was an unrealistic notion.  I mentioned it to Spousal Unit, and he asked a very insightful question - "What are you actually trying to accomplish?"  I want to make time for non-computer activities, such as knitting, jigsaw puzzles, drawing, reading, time with friends, etc.  So I have created a list of these activities, and dedicate a day a week to executing one or more of them.
  2. Sit upstairs every other day.  This may seem an odd idea, but I have found that I tend to sit in the same dining room chair, or the same spot on the couch.  This resolution is about changing my perspective, looking out a different window, fully utilizing the house.  I will probably change this one as well, since I have recently discovered that I get a much better view of my bird feeders from the couch on the lower level …
  3. Daily reflection using Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.  I felt my approach to daily prayer was stale - this simple book has injected a Bible-based freshness that is inspirational.
  4. Drink 64 ounces of water a day (well, any form of liquid - but coffee and wine don't count, folks!)
  5. Practice piano for 30 minutes every third day.

What are your plans for 2019?  1 month down and 11 to go!




Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 
Inlinkz Link Party
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