100: Goodbye 2010

(A hint.)

This will likely be another auto-post.  It’s actually the eve before New Year’s Eve as I type this.  It’s been a long day, chock full of fun and learning, ending with a dinner with good friends.  People who are really more like family after all this time.

Anyhow.  I’ve found myself some internet access (just trying to sound like the provincial I am…lol!) and decided I should set up an auto-post because I may not have time for it on New Year’s Eve.  I should be home by dinner time.  After that, who knows?  M and I might go over to Akron for their First Night celebration, weather permitting.

(Another hint.)

Some of you may have figured out where I’ve spent the last few days.  The first hint may not have been much help but surely the second gave it away.  And if not, you’ll soon know for sure as I plan on settling in for the weekend and getting caught up with you, on my own blog and by visiting your blogs.

2010 has been an interesting year.  A year of mourning.  A year of celebrating.  And certainly a year of traveling.  One of the things I like about the roll-out of the new year is it means staying home for a while.  A month or two of winter hibernation before we take off like the snowbirds we are becoming.

So.  Goodbye 2010.  I am grateful for the many gifts and blessings that were bestowed upon me throughout the year.  One of those gifts/blessings is getting to know my fellow blogmates a little bit better as well as meeting some new folks and making new friends.  Thank you all for your visits and your comments.

I’ll see you all again in 2011.  In the meantime, have a safe, fun, and magical celebration tonight.

P.S.  I know I should be celebrating and writing a blog post about the first 100 days of my outdoor commitment but it’s been a very long day and I could use some sleep.  Perhaps tonight in my sleep I’ll dream up a creative way to celebrate it, and surprise you with something over the next few days.

Or perhaps I’ll simply dream and just keep meeting my daily commitment, letting each day surprise me.

99: Still playing

Still off somewhere playing and meeting up with friends.  If this auto-posts, it means I don’t have internet access.  Rest assured that I am meeting my commitment to get outside.

The above photo was taken in Mission Beach, California back in November.  As much as I’d like to be on a warm, sunny beach, that’s not where I’m at this time around.  It wouldn’t be fair of me to ask you to guess where I am since I haven’t given you any clues.  No worries.  I really will tell you all about it.  Tomorrow, maybe.

Speaking of tomorrow, I will be moving into the triple digits with my commitment tomorrow.  100 days.  Wow!

98: Off to play

(Flocking together in Mission Beach, California.  November 2010)

I’m off to play with friends for a couple of days.  I’ll be getting plenty of outdoor time.  Hopefully there will even be some sunshine.  I don’t think there will be any snow, but rain is a possibility.

See you soon!

97: Frigid

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I had to go outside in ten minute increments today.  It was bright and sunny, but painfully cold.  The wind seems to cut right through the layers of clothing and skin and go right to the bone.


(Tracks on the pond.)

I think this might be the first day this month that we haven’t had so much as a flurry.  From the looks of things we may not get any more snow this week.  There is, however, rain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday.  That will likely make a big mess of things once the temperature drops again and everything freezes.

Well, this is a dull post.  How about a visit to the beach just to warm us up a little?

We can take a walk at sunset.

All you have to decide is which way to go…

96: Moving right along

(Winter in sepia.  Taken at Quail Hollow State Park.)

This is the time of year when I start sorting through the goals I made for this year to see how far along I made it in terms of actual accomplishments.  I know many others will be doing the same as this week goes by and there will, no doubt, be lots of blog posts about resolutions, goals, and commitments.

(Winter in sepia II.)


One of the things I started doing a few years ago was establishing a theme for the year.  One or two (or three, if necessary) words to define what I hope to accomplish over the year.  For 2010 the theme was:  Simplify.

I have not outwardly done as well as I hoped to when I set out to simplify my life.  The past two years have brought a lot of transitions (birth, death, marriage) and it occurs to me that 2010 brought an inward kind of simplicity that will help me along the way in 2011 when my theme will continue along the simplicity path:  Declutter.

(Opening up.  Potter Furniture.  Lancaster, PA.)

There are some things I can and have easily removed from my life.  “Fat clothes,” because I don’t want to go back.  The kitchen gadget that seemed like a good idea when I purchased it but was only used once or twice because I found that doing things by hand is quicker and simpler.  Items that are worn out and need replaced.  Getting rid of that sort of stuff is uncomplicated and relatively effortless.  Donate, recycle, or throw away.

(Making change.  Potter Furniture.)

There are other things I have had to learn to release.  Books are a good example.  I have been known to hoard books.  This past year I’ve given away a lot of books, and plan to keep giving them away in the coming year.  I finally realized that most of the books I’ve kept over the years, carried around from move to move, are not books I will be reading again.  There are millions of books I haven’t yet read and life seems to be getting shorter as I get older.  It’s time to read and enjoy new stories, and even new ways of telling stories, while allowing others to enjoy the stories I’ve already read.

Not as easy

This year, I think, will be about learning how to let go of the sentimental.  There are things I cling to because they represent people and/or or events from the past.  If I make use of these items, they are part of my present and there is no reason not to keep them.   Many items, however, are tucked away and ignored until I start sorting and decluttering.  The tablecloth my mother crocheted.  Craft projects made by my sons when they were children.  Cards my husband gave me over the years.

(Toys without children.  Potter Furniture.)

Some of those things can be given away to family, friends, or even strangers who might want and use them.  Others I have plans for in terms of my own art.  Repurposing.  It will be both fun and interesting.  The key is to make sure I do use them in some manner.  Otherwise, I may end up back at start with boxes of stuff I’m saving for a future day.  In other words, hoarding.  Not on a horrific scale but still, it’s hoarding.

(The wheel of time.  Porter Furniture.)

Read the rest of this entry »

95: Sunday Signage

(Sign in front of the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland.)

Great sign.  What I was unable to capture in the same photo was the snow sitting on the canopy.  There is a lot of that around here.  We have several of those heavy ice and snow overhangs around the outside of the house.  It’s best not to stand under them.


At approximately 10:30 this morning my computer was hijacked by a malware program called System Tool 2011.  I don’t know where I picked it up but do know M picked it up on his laptop around the same time.  He caught it by running an anti-virus program, the same one I have that should have caught it before it hijacked my computer.  I am not a happy camper about that (or any of it, for that matter).   The malware takes over the computer with a message that your computer is filled with viruses and spyware, and the only way to fix this (of course) is to buy their program.  It’s a scam, of course, but someone not very computer savy might not realize it.  I was unable to run anything else while System Tool had control of my computer.  Fortunately M was able to use his laptop to find out how to get rid it.  It’s easy enough, but not so easy if you are unable to access the internet.

If you haven’t run an anti-virus, anti-spyware scan lately, you might want to do that.  It seems you can’t depend on it to stop this sort of thing before it happens even if the program you’re using has it included in their list of virus definitions.

While M was working on deleting the malware, I ran through a mental list of where I had been on the computer this morning.  I’m not sure it matters as I don’t know where I picked up the Trojan.  I was visiting TripAdvisor.com when my computer was taken over.  However, I can’t say for sure (or even as a guess) that I picked it up there.

Running down that list got me to thinking about how much time I waste doing silly things on the computer.  That time could be put to much better use so I’ve decided to give up the games I play.  Facebook and Twitter might be next on the list of things I need to relinguish.  We’ll see.

Today’s Walk

It is windy, cold, and snowing.  (No surprises there, eh?)  I’m not sure what the ultimate accumulation is expected to be.  I’m not sure it matter except that M and I are crossing the border into Pennsylvania this evening for our annual wingfest meet-up with friends at Quaker Steak & Lube.  Our friends live in California and have family in Pennsylvania.  We meet up with them every year around this time for an unhealthy (and fun) feast of fried and heavily sauced chicken wings.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

It is incredibly stark and white outside.  Finding color is difficult.  During my walk around the pond and into the woods I almost felt as though I’d stepped into a black and white world.

(A spot of color on the ground.)

My body is sore from the past three days of cross-country skiing.  That’s why I opted to walk instead of ski today.  Most of the soreness seems to be from that first fall.  Hopefully it will work itself out soon.

(Today’s view of the creek.)


94: Merry Christmas!

(The Northern Flicker.)

Merry Christmas to those of you out there celebrating it!  I’m more of a Solstice gal myself, but any excuse to celebrate the day will do since each day we’re given, it seems to me, is a gift.

(Or is it a Common Flicker?)

Two unusual things happened today.  I would be flippant and call them Christmas Miracles but I don’t want to offend anyone so let’s just call them two unusual things.

(This morning’s view of the pond.  See the blue in the sky???)

The first unusual thing was a glimpse of blue sky.  It didn’t last long.  Maybe a half hour or so.  We even had a few moments of sunlight to go with it.  It has been cloudy and gray here for a while now, with snow flurries every day.  It was nice to see a little blue for a change.

(Blue jays.)

The second unusual thing is that the birds allowed me to photograph them.  This occurrence was almost as fleeting as the blue sky.  There is a possibility that it might have lasted longer but I was shooting from on my knees and there came a time when my knees decided, “Enough already!”

Most of my shots are not that great but at least you can see the birds well enough to identify them.  If, that is, you know how to identify them.

The day has been pretty full.  M and I opened gifts shortly after we rolled out of bed, had a delightful and delicious breakfast (that involved some leftover tempeh hash I made for lunch yesterday, recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food), and then went our separate ways for a little while.  He brought in some firewood and I took pictures of birds.  Then we got together again to go cross-country skiing out at Quail Hollow State Park.

(One of the trails at Quail Hollow.)

Quail Hollow is what we’ve been training for the past two days.  (lol!  I’m not sure anyone who knows what they are doing would call what we’ve been doing training.)  It was great fun.  For the record, I fell once.  I tend to fall backwards and to the right.  My right hip is not pleased.  But that’s what the disco tub (the whirlpool) is for.

(Two trees and a picnic table.)

I went for a short walk when we finished skiing, just to take a few photos.  I think the walking may be one of the reasons I’m not as sore as I thought I would be from the skiing.  Since I haven’t been taking the camera along on my ski trips, I go for a walk when I give up on the skis.

(Gold in a blue and gray atmosphere.)

And now I’m off to enjoy some time by the fire and, maybe, a glass of wine.  After which I will probably fall into a deep sleep that will last until spring.

(A good place to picnic when spring comes back around.)

I’m kidding, of course.  As pleasantly exhausted as I feel, I don’t believe hibernation is in my nature.  There is more snow coming tomorrow and I’d miss playing in it if I hibernated.

(Seeds, waiting for spring.)