Saturday, December 31, 2011

Funny redneck t-shirts

On the way back from Pennsylvania, US, we stopped for dinner. Adjacent to the restaurant is a little store that sells a little something of everything: spoons, t-shirts, mugs, other items of clothing, key rings, also including some local arts and crafts. In my opinion the items that are less commercial often makes for better souvenirs. I rather enjoyed the collection of Redneck t-shirts. (They were covered with glass, causing the light to reflect, and I battled to get good pictures regardless of the angle.)

See which one you like best :)   

Personally, I like the one in the middle best. 
He may not wear diapers but I think we should have bought that one for Lil' M ha-ha

Thursday, December 29, 2011

King of HIS jungle

I think we fall more and more in love with our animals the more we get to know them - their personalities, their habits, their way of communicating with us (their love, their needs, their moods). I don't know about you but to me they become like little furry or feathered 'people'. To a stranger a cat is a cat, is a cat, or a dog is a dog, is a dog, but to you it is a companion, a baby, another heartbeat in the room, a best friend, etc.  

Lil' M (short for little monster) is no different. He is full of life and full of mischief and he is certainly not shy about it. Lately he has been playing a new game. He's taken quite a liking to my chair. He lurks around and when I get up he jumps on the chair and makes himself at home. I tell him that I've been keeping it warm especially for him! I feel too bad to kick him off when I come back so I type standing up till he gives it up. lol (The things we do for our pets... ;) 
This is my chair! Signed Lil' M

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas wishes 2011

Here's to wishing you a very merry Christmas!

(It was the first time that I ever recorded straight into YouTube. I was not very impressed. This was from my heart and every other attempt just seemed rehearsed and fake. So I decided to keep it and add the words where you are unable to perhaps hear them due to the technical glitches that I was unable to iron out. If you have external speakers for your computer it will help, but I hope that you will be blessed regardless!) Merry Christmas :)


Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow angels

They've been telling us it was going to snow for a while now but none of the weather channel's predictions proved true. Some were relieved and others wondered whether we were going to have a white Christmas at all this year. The weather has apparently been pulling some strange wool over eyes the past two years. Then finally the weather channel got it right! It snowed! It snowed enough for snow angels (as supposed to mud angels - yuck!) and it has been cold enough for it to stick around for a few days of white winter beautiful bliss.

I've never made snow angels before. I thought it would be very cold and very wet but it wasn't - yay! Once I was laying on my back in the snow I felt like a little kid and I couldn't help but giggle like one. I felt alive. I can understand why they are called 'angels'. Pretty :)

I scouted a spot where the snow was deep enough and where there were no footprints and then laid back carefully so I wouldn't have an angel with a trampled wing.

The Secrets they Kept (By Joanne Tombrakos)

I've just finished reading The Secrets They Kept - a debut novel by author Joanne Tombrakos.

The very first time I heard about Joanne's existence is when my eye caught her comment on a friend's blog mentioning that she has just self-published her first novel. I've never met Joanne in person. Being in the process of getting my first book published I decided to support Joanne in buying her book just as I would like for others to buy mine when it is available. The story sounded interesting but I didn't really have a clue what to expect.

Joanne, I am so very pleased to say: I was blown away! I read all 287 pages of it in one day! I just couldn't put it down. You had me hooked from around... oh, page ONE.

In short, the book is about Elena, a Greek-American lawyer living in New York City, who thought she knew all there was to know about her family but then all of that changes the day the police arrive at her front door to inform her of the death of a person whom she never even knew existed but who had her name down as his next of kin. Suddenly everything she knew to be real was shaken to the core. Who was this man who called himself George Poulous? That was her father's name and he has been dead for ten years. What are the secrets that her family - especially her mother is not willing to tell. Elana wants answers and, as hard as it is for everyone concerned, she will not rest until she knows all there is to know. As the secrets are slowly revealed it restores broken hearts, broken relationships and new hope for Elana and her family.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

(5) Colorado: The fast, the furious and a tragic death

On this day we woke up to our last morning in Colorado. Even though I wasn't cold during the night, I missed my blow up mattress something terrible. While G went out scouting for early morning pictures I took advantage of a few extra layers of blanket and another two odd hours of sleep. And then I was hungry. We still had some leftover rotisserie chicken, ham and fresh bread safely locked in the car and before long we were not the only ones who knew that. Only the coffee was missing. ...And the bacon. And the eggs... ;)

G had this one eating out of his hand! - bird eating bird. Hmm....

Friday, December 9, 2011

(4) Colorado: Sunset with friends

We stayed at the Mueller State Park the second night. What a breathtaking place! I love sunsets and we decided to hike one of the trails to see if we could find a good spot to photograph one. Gosh, there is a notable difference between fit from cycling and fit from walking. I was just about ready to accept defeat with my chin up when someone pointed out to me that it might very well have something to do with the altitude.

Bring on the next mountain! :D

As majestic as the mountains are, I also find myself very much drawn to seeking out the little things to photograph. I don't even have to think about it. 

A chipmunk - a real live one - and no, his name is not Alvin.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

(3) Colorado: Breakfast beauty... lunch, sunset, dinner

Yesterday was somewhat overcast and some really cold weather was blowing in by the time I took the picture of the mountain in the back yard - I mean chilly! I was all too grateful to be cosy inside with roast chicken and salads for dinner, a nice chunk of red velvet birthday cake for dessert and a hot shower! 

We certainly woke up to a beautiful morning! After an early breakfast we headed out to Mueller State Park, which we had stumbled across around sunset the previous day.

Standing here, breathing in the fresh morning air, I just wanted to reach for a thermos with hot coffee. I can't say I love coffee but I most certainly get caught up in the smell of coffee early in the morning. There is just something about the way it announces the break of day.

(2) Colorado: From barren to beauty

If you are just joining me - welcome!

We have been driving west from Kansas to Colorado. Most of the way - until we crossed the border anyway - there wasn't a lot to see but the closer you get to Colorado the more the topography changes to look a little more like this (below). Beautiful, isn't it?

These iconic Rocky Mountains was formed between 55 and 80 million years ago and stretch more than 3,000 miles from the northernmost part of British Columbia (western Canada) all the way to New Mexico in the southwestern United States. The mountains can be seen from about 100 miles away and they are truly spectacular - with or without snow!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

(1) And then we were off to Colorado

My day trip to New York city was just a few days premature for a birthday present but who cares, right? By far one of the best birthday presents yet! Now it was G's turn. He wanted to photograph the fall colors and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I wonder why some call it autumn and others call it fall? Either way, October is the perfect time for it!

After driving the 1,200 miles to Pennsylvania, the 600 mile drive to Colorado was a breeze but with one very distinct difference: the scenery. Now, I've heard people describe Kansas in two main ways: (1) the place where the Wizard of Oz plays out, and (2) flat, wide open spaces with not even a tree in sight. Firstly - and I'm unsure whether I should feel ashamed or not - I haven't seen The Wizard of Oz. I've heard of it often but I haven't seen the movie, and secondly I haven't seen enough of the States to make an accurate topographical comparison. This trip gave me a whole new insight but how about you judge for yourself:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is this what 'forgotten' looks like?

We had one more day in Pennsylvania after my day trip to New York City. We mostly spent it packing and saying our good bye's. It was going to be a long trip back home. G also wanted to make a trip to the cemetery; it’s been a while.

These graves were the first ones I saw as I got out of the car and the first thought that crossed my mind was Is this what ‘forgotten’ looks like? It was clear that no one had visited these graves in a very long time.

What happened to their loved ones? Did they move far away? Were they even still alive? Or are these people who cherish memories of their loved ones in their hearts wherever they go?