Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld acquaintance...

...or new acquaintance, as the case may be. It seems to be the end of another year. As we teeter on the threshold of 2008, I want to wish you all the best and to thank you for reading my blog.

Here is a link to one of my favorites, Ella Fitzgerald, singing "What are you doing New Year's Eve" in her absolutely inimitable style. (Click the small arrow at the bottom left of the page.) Enjoy.

Ella Fitzgerald with The Frank Devol Orchestra - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

a view from the birdbath

We got about 5" of snow a couple of days ago, and my miniature birdbath looked ready for a couple of snowbirds. It was a lovely, fluffy snow, not terribly treacherous, but I'm glad I haven't had to be out in it much.

Friday, December 28, 2007

more snow (sigh)

Winter officially began one week ago today, but as far as the weather is concerned it was winter several weeks ago. Last night we had yet another several inches of snow, which is lovely when you don't have to go out in it.

A few days ago, after the last snowfall, we had several customers at our backyard bird feeder. This cardinal was one and his mate below was another. They are soooo skittish it's hard to get a good photo.

I think this is some kind of finch. Tiny, tiny birds. I don't see how they live.

And, since it's Friday, a cat blogging photo. This is Romeo, catching some Z's.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

e-bay alert

I have just listed several bracelets on e-bay, including the three pictured below. You can get to my e-bay page by clicking the link on the right side of my blog page. Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas aftermath

One last Christmas-related post. Here's a jolly little chap, part of the snowman collection currently decorating the mantle.

This should come under the heading "be careful what you ask for, because you may get it". I had slippers on my Christmas list, however what I had in mind and what caught my husband's eye were two different things. They are quite comfortable, though, and provide endless amusement for the cats as well as family members. Quips like, "Now when you feel like a monster in the morning you can look like one too," were floating around the house on Christmas morning.

Happy Boxing Day to my UK friends.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blogging may be light to nonexistent for the next few days because all of my siblings and their entire families are arriving for Christmas. I want to wish my blog friends a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thanks for reading my blog, your cheerful comments, and general support.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas cards and other minor irritants

I'm actually going to get my Christmas cards out in advance of the holiday this year, it seems. I love everything about Christmas cards--poring over catalogs of choices, finding just the right ones for how I'm feeling that year, receiving them from others--everything, that is, except actually sitting down and writing them out, which is kind of important if you want the recipients to know they're from you. Last year, in spite of good intentions, I didn't get them sent at all. I missed doing them before Christmas so I thought I'd wait and do a New Years greeting instead (lame I know, but better than nothing) but that didn't happen either. Oh well, at least I didn't have to buy all new cards for this year's mailing. My major snag this time was getting my boys all in one place at one time and in a reasonable state of appearance to have their picture taken for inclusion in the greetings. Finally today I put my foot down, handed them combs, changed a couple of shirts, and told them to hold still and not poke each other for five seconds. The result is below.

From the left: Dylan (7), Adam (20) and Christopher (17)

I purchased a poinsettia from our local children's choir fundraiser. It's really lovely.

I have a collection of Santa figures, ranging from the classic American Santa Claus to Father Christmas and Victorian St. Nick. This is one of the jolly old elves.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

And After The Ice, The Snow

Hoo-boy. It is certainly winter here in Kansas. We had not really recovered from the intense ice storm at the beginning of the week when we were hit with 8" of snow yesterday and through the night last night. Fortunately, we have nowhere particular to go so we're using today to wrap gifts, drink cocoa, and make Christmas goodies.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Drip, drip, drip

Things are slowly getting back to normal. The sun is out and the ice is melting from the poor, twisted trees. Really, the damage has been enormous. My son's fiancee's family, who lives outside town, will not get their electricity back for 7-10 days. Merry Christmas! We're doing what we can to see that they have a warm place to be and hot water for washing, but what an immense hassle.

By the way, the photo above is not mine. I got it from a clip art website. Illustrative, I thought.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Ice Storm Cometh

We had an ice storm overnight and the view this morning is nothing short of heartbreaking. Limbs down everywhere, electricity sporadic or out altogether, people having trouble getting around. At least they cancelled school for the day so my kids don't have to go anywhere. It's still raining, but it's just rain so maybe the ice will melt off before it does any more damage.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A View From My Christmas Tree

Astonishingly, our house is decorated for Christmas and has been since the weekend after Thanksgiving. I say astonishingly because I didn't think it would happen as quickly as it did, but we had a day that seemed right so we all pitched in and got it done, even the outdoor lights. It's nice to have just gift wrapping and goodie making to look forward to for the next couple of weeks.

My favorite china angel.

I have several glass ornaments in the shape of different types of fruit. I love this one.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Well, after seeing Dylan through his virus and catching it myself (of course), finishing the show, doing the Christmas Cottage at Dylan's school, and having a fairly miserable week at work trying to get well, I'm back at it. I said I'd post some cast photos of BCPE, so here they are.

These are mostly Herdman kids, Imogene, Ralph, Leroy, Claude, and Gladys. Maxine is in the background.

This is Imogene (Kara) and Gladys (Alyson), adorable girls who played their roles extremely well.

Two of our baby angels. They were precious.

Dylan REALLY got into playing Ollie Herdman. Sometimes I had to remind him it was just a role.

Gladys (Alyson) as the Angel of the Lord.

Staci and Pippa, mugging for the camera.

Our wonderful director, Shannon, doing what she does so well, which is connecting with kids.

And finally, since I haven't cat blogged for awhile, here's one of our three not-so-small kittens.
Rusty, living dangerously.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I'm having one of those days.
This is the last day of rehearsal for Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Dylan is sick. That means he misses going around to the elementary schools with the rest of the cast this afternoon, and maybe rehearsal tonight. He will be going to the doctor later today. Arrgh.
Because he was up at 3 or so this morning, so was I which means I'm short on sleep and not in such a good mood.
I will be very glad when this is all over!
Update: Dylan has a sinus infection. Got antibiotics and he's resting at home. Out of school tomorrow, still resting, then on with the show tomorrow night. Hoo-boy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Blow, blow thou winter wind

A few more photos of fall-sliding-into-winter garden plants.

This is some cranesbill in my mother's garden. In fact, all these photos were taken at my parents' house.

I think this is Japanese spirea.

I spied these bright red berries hiding among the asparagus fronds.

This is Brooke, a young Thanksgiving guest at my Mom & Dad's house yesterday.

The Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Come into my garden...

...or what's left of it this late in the year. Actually it has been quite mild during the day, but the nights are pretty nippy.

The old geranium still has a few valiant buds.

Ivy is one of my very favorites.

This is Fuzzy, trying to look like a potted plant. He's not nearly so circumspect as Jules' cat Basil, I'm sure.

Friday, November 16, 2007


In lieu of the costume photos which (ahem) were not taken last night, contrary to plan, I'm posting another shot of the red creeper from yesterday. Color isn't as good, but I like the massing of the leaves.

Thanks to everyone who reads this blog, and especially those who comment in e-mails or blog posts. I appreciate it a lot. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Red creeper

I think my friend and fellow blogger Jules is influencing me. She has a great camera setup and is married to a more or less professional photographer (whose work is also wonderful, by the way) and regularly posts gorgeous photos, a lot of which are taken in her own garden. Her blog is at

This isn't in my garden, but when I was on an early morning trip to the grocery store to buy milk for breakfast this morning I spied this gorgeous red creeper on the wall of a nearby building. I stopped later on my way to work and snapped some photos. I will undoubtedly be making headlines soon as the weird lady who stops in the middle of town and takes pictures of things no one else is interested in. I think I can deal with that.

I hope to be putting people into costumes at BCPE rehearsal tonight and have some photos to post tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And now for something completely different... least from what I've been doing lately. Actually, I did this awhile back but just uncovered it when digging through the stuff on my work table. I have no idea what this will eventually become, but I like it. Click on it for a detailed closeup.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Orange & gold

This comes under the heading of taking beauty where you find it. One of my co-workers noticed this bright orange volunteer tree growing up inside a large fir tree outside the office. It was hardly visible until it turned color. The contrast is beautiful, I think.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday cat blogging

What is it with cats, anyway? Tiger was apparently protesting the fact that his water dish was empty. He doesn't technically fit in it anymore, and later I found him draped across the dish. Cats are so wonderfully strange.

I am currently costuming our community theatre's production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and have been spending a lot of time outfitting the cast. For the last several years I have costumed most of the shows MCT has staged and Dylan is actually in this one, so I got tagged. So far, so good. I'll post photos of some of the kids in costume next week, hopefully. Have a great weekend everybody, and thanks to all of you who have visited my blog at the suggestion of my Gallery friends.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One last photo for today...

I neglected to put this photo in the last post and I really wanted to show it to you all. This is a favorite piece of mine by Michaela Groeblacher, who I'm also pleased to say is my friend. I love the shape, the colors, and the wonderful use of a combination of German and English to make the artist's point. Happily for me, and thanks to my old German prof Dr. Jan Van Asselt, I can just about translate it.

Holiday Open House at VAAM Gallery

The Gallery at VAAM is all decked out in Christmas finery. The hanging committee of Shin Hee Chin, Elizabeth Liljegren, and Betty Jo Houchen have really outdone themselves in showing off the artwork to tremendous advantage. It is gorgeous in there.

In the center of it all is the Christmas tree, decorated with handmade wax ornaments byLiz Liljegren and wheat weavings by Felice Goering.

A lovely tableau featuring work by David Brock and handpainted china by Anne Albright.

We are very fortunate to be featuring work by two artists new to the Gallery at VAAM, clay artist Debra Ringler (work above) and glass artist Rick Garnett, whose blue bowl is below.
More of Rick's glass work, along with some of my hand dyed silk scarves.
More goodies under the tree...
...and more lovely stuff by Michaela Groeblacher, Michael Chrislip, and Yours Truly.
I will post more photos of the "Christmas Gallery" in the future.