Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Special sightings for November 30th

Early this morning I saw all the birds fly away from the feeders. Then seconds later I saw this enormous woodpecker start checking out the feeders. I looked at our guide for common birds and the hairy woodpecker was not pictured but the description seems to fit. I looked it up online.  That wasn't it. This bird was slightly smaller than a crow at least 13 inches. The red on the top of its head look almost like a mohawk and look at that beak!  I found it online: Pileated Woodpecker full grown they are 16 to 19 inches.

Hello Big Guy! Pileated Woodpecker
On the way back from my therapy appointment, Tabatha and I both said "look at that ahead!" At that point there was only a tiny speck of a rainbow. We pulled off to the side of the road and it disappeared. She pulled back onto the road and drove a little further and then pulled off to the side of the road one more time when a double rainbow appeared. It was there for a moment and then flash it was past! Oh yeah, we got wet! It was a combination of rain and sleet.
Double Rainbow 11/30/2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Could that be?

I don't want to confuse thee.
But I saw a Cat
it was wearing a Hat!
The Cat in the Hat

Something is not quite right
This Santa gives a big fright!
After all, I bet that you would flinch
If you turned around to see the Grinch!
The Grinch
 This year my sister is in the play the Grinch! They have 6 groups of actors and actresses that rotate through Whoville sharing their story.  With my bad arm I can't drive to any of the normal performances.  Becky's last evening with us was November 28th.  The evening of the first semi-dress rehearsal.
Becky and The Cat in the Hat
 Only one Cindy Lou Who went through full dress and makeup.  It wasn't the one in Tabatha's team.  But I took the picture of the three anyways.  It was challenging taking photos left-handed. Thank goodness my camera has an option where I don't need to look through the eye piece.
The Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes that day ...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Confusing the kids ...

After church today we had about an hour and a half to waste before the movie started. Tabatha, Becky, and I went to the movie "Arrival". While Becky and I waited we went window shopping at Mills Fleet Farm.
Classic Telephone
Fisher Price has come out with a set of classical toys. When I saw this old telephone, I wondered how confused will the children get? A few toys down they had the more modern day cell phone for children.
Kids cell phone
They also had the farmer says see 'n say. I'm not sure which of us kids had one of these but I remember playing it for hours. We pulled the cord out and it only pulled about 2 inches years ago ours went out at least a foot. The toy was also significantly smaller than the one we had as children. I wondered is it a case of when you're grown up things appear smaller? But no, I'm pretty sure it was really smaller.
See 'n Say

So how was the movie? Arrival is definitely a movie worth watching. It gets a little slow once in awhile. There are also parts that are a tad confusing. But when you get to the end all the strange pieces fall into place. This might be one that I need to watch a second time after seeing the secrets of the story line.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Skyler is almost a year old!

Looking at this cute little bug "regenerate", I can't believe that he is almost a year old.
I love the way he has a little crook above his eyes which looks like a second set of eyes. If you can't tell by now, I love just about everything about this little bug.
Or maybe not so little Doberman!

Friday, November 25, 2016


I have been wanting to paint the Northern Lights picture for several weeks now. With Becky visiting and Tabatha staying overnight to take me to my therapy appointment the timing was right. I was able to paint with my left hand. Mostly because it was a landscape style picture with not a lot of detail.
I had  a lot of inspiration a few months ago when the northern lights were dancing and sending Towers in the air.
The thing about inspiration and actual painting is that they don't need to be identical. The inspiration is just that it's the idea that begins the creation.
Painting by Trisha  :^)
I am pleased with the outcome! I can tell this will be a subject that might be in many future paintings. So much to do ... so little time!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year I see on Facebook people listing the multitude of things that they are thankful for. My list would be so large that I would not know where to begin.
Spending time together with family
Today I was surrounded by family and friends. They took over my kitchen and my house and pampered me as I'm recovering from shoulder surgery. You would never guess that Charlie does not like Doberman.
We were extra blessed to have Becky our special friend with us for the holiday this year.
Friends & Family Feast together
I wish for you all of the blessings that I have received in this past year! May God bless you and keep you until the next Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Help I cannot see in my oven window!

My sister was out shopping so I asked her to pick up a cleaner in order to clean the inside window of my oven.
Dirty Oven Window
She told me that I should try using baking soda and vinegar. So I started by sprinkling the front heavily with baking soda.
Sprinkle with baking soda
Then I poured vinegar on top and the chemical reaction started. But wasn't going to be enough to break through years of grease? We could not see through the window a year ago when we purchased the house.
Add Vinegar
Did it work? You be the judge. I am satisfied but it did take a little bit of elbow grease even with the chemical reaction. Good thing I still have one good arm to work with.
Clean Oven Window

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

6 Days After Surgery

To my surprise I received a phone call this afternoon from a florist. A short time later they delivered a beautiful bouquet with a get-well note on it from my company.
Get Well Soon
While I work this afternoon, Becky boiled some eggs for us. After work we made deviled eggs for Thanksgiving Day.
Deviled Eggs
My sister requested popovers for Thanksgiving Day. I haven't made them in years so I decided to try a group. Yesterday I made them with wheat flour that didn't work. So today I did another batch with normal flour.
They were delicious! My challenge will be making a dozen of them or more on Thanksgiving morning and serving them warm.
Popover with honey butter
After working two full days, my arm was getting very sore.  I cut out I work a half an hour early because I couldn't hold them off anymore. It doesn't hurt it's just feels uncomfortable and I don't want to push it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

God's magic trick

Last night at the airport,  I needed to use my credit card to get out of the parking ramp because all that I had left was 3 one dollar bills.

This month in church is a missions focus. A missionary was sharing stories of how God multiplies when we give with an grateful heart. He shared how his nearly 11 year old daughter felt led to raise  $1,100 in 11 days around her 11th birthday.  They were sharing at a college and a student came up to the Father to give him money she had been saving. God finally moved his heart to have the college student talk to his daughter. The gift ended up being $1 more than the young girls goal.

Missions are in my heart. I had forgot my check book. We already established that I only had 3 $1 bills in my wallet.  So how was it that I was able to put 3 $5 bills in the offering basket?

God reminded me this morning that I had put the remaining  $15 that I won in the weight loss challenge in a zip compartment within my purse. I could have remembered it last night and used it. But that was money that God had set aside for missions.

I guess you could say that God changed 3 one dollar bills into 3 five dollar bills.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Help arrives for the holiday!

We stopped at Baker's Square in Eden Prairie for holiday pies.
Pie Time
Our next stop was for gasoline. We were surprised it was $1.78 a gallon. The lines were long but we got to see a beautiful sunset.
Sunset 11/19/16
It was just a couple miles down the road when we drove into the parking ramp. The sun was still setting.
By the time we walked into the airport the sun was nearly set. But we were just in time for the plane to land.
Sunset 11/19/16
Then she arrived! (FYI , I can't hold the cell phone still and take a picture with the left hand.) Becky's here!
She's here!
Welcome to Minnesota!
Rebecca & Tabatha

Friday, November 18, 2016


This afternoon I had my first therapy appointment.  My sister stayed over night the night before to make sure that she could make it with the blizzard predicted.  We took off about noon for the 1:45 appointment.  We were a good 45 minutes early.  The appointment went well. It was a slow and go trip back home. 
Misty Blue, Sonjia, and Duchess loving on Grandma
The dogs were acting like they haven't seen me for a month.  Not to be left out, Skyler slipped behind me, sniffed my shoulder and gently laid his head on my shoulder.
I've got your back, Grandma!
Duchess, Skyler and Sonjia all come together hoping for a part of Grandma's lap.  They knew that they needed to stay away from my arm.  With all the heavy weight and normally clumsy style of a Doberman moving around me, I was holding my breath.  But they were gentle, cautious and giving doggie love.
Room on Grandma's lap for all?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Grandma we'll make you feel better!

The dogs know that I'm not feeling well and they were struggling part of the day with who was going to get to sit next to Grandma.
Duchess loving on Grandma
I have been very cautious with the dogs to make sure that they lay on my lap and not on my arm. They have been really good about being careful around my arm.
Boo boo loving on Grandma
Today was a difficult day. The nerve block wore off before I was expecting it to and I had only taken one pain pill when I should have taken two. To top that off the pain medication is making me nauseated. I'm glad that Tabatha is here helping me out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Surgery complete

And just that quickly rehab is starting. Dale was at the hospital with me. He was the one to take the picture of me on my first walk.
After Surgery
I woke up well sort of woke up with my arm strapped to my body. I really wanted to just close my eyes and sleep some more but I woke up.

They put a nerve block in first. Then they put in a pain medicine pump. That means my arm is numb. I guess the blessing is that there is no pain from the surgery. But it is a really weird feeling to have a numb arm. 

I've also had a headache coming and going. It is a good thing that I have a freezer full of ice packs exclamation point

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I caught the moon this morning

I was taking pictures of the beautiful sunrise. the partly cloudy morning provided a perfect canvas for an extremely large sunrise.
Sunrise 11/15/16
When I turned around, I noticed that there was a ball caught at the top of the trees.
Super Moon playing at the treetops
I zoomed in to see what it was, playing amidst the treetops.  it was the moon! so close that all I needed was to climb up into the tree and knock the moon down.
Super Moon playing at the treetops
It was a big challenge!   I managed to roll it over just a touch. But then it got caught between the tops of two trees. It was a lot of work and I didn't want to hurt my arm again.  So I crawled down, leaving the moon caught in the trees.
Super Moon playing at the treetops

Monday, November 14, 2016

Super Moon Rising

We were cloud covered to the East as the sunset.  When I came in from doing chores, the clouds had started to clear.  I chose to take the dogs outside with me in the fenced in area and try to take a few photos.
Super moon rising

I didn't have my sisters zoom lens.  So I put the 2X on my 55mm lens and was able to zoom to 110mm.

Super moon rising

I did some timed exposures and it almost looked like daylight.  A cool effect but not what I was looking for which left me playing with the exposure.

Super moon rising

What can I say?  The moon was just so bright that it was difficult to get it zoomed in and show the darkness of the night sky.  I finally got one that I liked.  In taking the photos I decided that the Super moon is awesome to see in person but when taking photos, it looks pretty much the same as any other full moon. 
Super moon rising

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The effects of a Full Moon

The media has been telling us all about the extra special event with this full moon.  It is at its closest point to the earth and appears about 33% larger. 
Under normal conditions the moon has a psychological effect on people.  Does that mean that the effect will be 33% greater than the typical full moon?  Hmmm
Jon Okerstrum from Madison, Wisconsin was lucky enough to get the perfect shot of what appears like a jet flying to the moon.  What a fabulous photo of the super moon!
Flying to the Moon by Jon Okerstrum

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Inspired leads to inspiration

Nathan Barrett shared a photo of his painting on Facebook. I've taken a few photos that have made me feel like I should use them as an inspiration.
Painting by Nathan Barrett
 Seeing his painting was an added inspiration. I had to take the next step which was buying the supplies that I was short.
Shopping for an inspirational event
Today I stopped by Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite stores, and bought two black canvas and a flat whispers brush.
Northern Lights and Big Dipper
The whisp brush should work nice creating the pillars of light that I saw earlier this year as I was watching the Northern Lights in my front yard.
Full Moon on a Cloudy Night
On a different evening with a full moon and troublesome clouds, I captured my favorite moon shot through the trees.  As I was looking for the moon photo, I  passed by the thunderstorm photo.  it made me think, "Maybe I should have purchased a third canvas?" Yeah, I need to get one painting done first!
While I was shopping there was a Grandma with her Grandson. He was spending his birthday money. Grandma was trying to guide him but didn't know anything about sketching supplies. He was split between charcoal and colored pencils. We chatted for five to ten minutes then the young boy made his decision. He bought a sketch book with perforated pages, a charcoal pencil set that contained pencils, charcoal and a gummy eraser. Then he got a beginners colored pencil set with an instruction book. I'm guessing he was between 10 and 12 years old. I'm hoping that Grandma picked up on the lessons hint.