Time in a bottle


It is a rainy, dreary, doldrums kind of day here in the Bogs.  Rather than write about that and show you gray, dreary, dull images, I turned to the The Daily Post for some inspiration.  The Daily Prompt for today is:  Time Capsule.

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Tag… you’re It!

Light in the basement

I’ve been tagged by Sallyann in a game called “Mrs. Sparkly’s ten commandments.”  I’ve seen this meme going around and Mrs. Sparkly has been described in various ways, all of them a mix between good and evil.  Everyone seems to come up with their own good vs. evil characters so for me it’s Mary Poppins vs. Dolores Umbridge (ugh!).  Both are stern characters in their way.  Mary Poppins would, of course, lead me to participating by letting me learn for myself that it’s not only a good idea, but there is always a fun way to approach it.  Dolores Umbridge, on the other hand, is a mean-spirited toad who would torture me to do it.  Best go the Mary Poppins route, don’t you think?  (I would probably have come up with characters from adult books if I hadn’t just been immersed in the world of Harry Potter.)

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154: Stylish Blogger Award

I was recently awarded the Stylish Blogger Award by Bearyweather of the blog Bear in Mind.  Thank you so much, Bearyweather.  I am flattered that you picked me, and will try to meet the requirements without breaking too many rules.  The first requirement is that I link back to the person who gave me this award so we’re off to a good start.

The second requirement is that I share seven things about myself.  Honestly, I think I’ve shared so much about myself already that there’s not much left, but let’s see what I can come up with…

1. I experienced my first ice storm (or at least the first ice storm I can remember) while living in South Carolina.  It happened sometime during the first few years M and I were married.  Although it was destructive to trees and power lines, it was still one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.  A thick layer of ice covered everything and when the sun came out, Everything Was Illuminated.  (The book title I’m borrowing from, by the way, is Everything Is Illuminated: A Novel.)  There have been other ice storms since but none as beautiful as that first one, perhaps because it was the first.

2. I collect rocks.  Most of the rocks in my collection are not as polished as in the photo because they are usually rocks I pick up while out walking or hiking.  I particularly like round and egg-shaped rocks.  They tend to show up quite a bit more than I would have expected, or else I have an eye for them and so it just seems that way.  I’ve been collecting rocks of some sort since I was a child.  Is it any wonder that one of my sons got his college degree in geology?  And then moved to Colorado?  (I told you three things here, but I’ll be nice and carry on with a full seven categories/things.)

3. I used to collect feathers too.  Now I collect them by taking photos rather than picking them up and bringing them home.

Perhaps I should start doing that with rocks, too.  Before my home becomes a big rock pile.

4. I was so taken with the book Where the Wild Things Are (even after reading it a few hundred times to my youngest son) that when I saw a Wild Thing in small shop in U City, Missouri (just outside of St. Louis), I had to buy it.  Eighteen years later, it still hangs out with us in the room we turned into a library/guest room.

The chair he is sitting in is The Comfy Chair.  It is The Best Comfy Chair Ever.  It’s where I love to sit when I’m settling in for a long session of reading.  The best thing about the chair is that I can get comfortable in it no matter how I sit.  My feet touch the floor when I sit comfortably in this chair.  Not all chairs are designed for us shorter people.  (I’m not unusually short or anything.  Just enough that sometimes it’s hard to be comfortable in chairs or on stools because they seem to be designed for folks taller than me.)

5. I hoard unread books.  Not on purpose, mind you.  People (usually family) know I like to read.  They give me books.  In the meantime, I buy books I want to read.  And before you know it, I have a HUGE collection of unread books.

I have read the books in the back on the bottom shelf.  Looking at this photo it occurs to me that I really should go through this stack of books because I’m pretty sure there are books in there that won’t appeal to me.  I can eliminate those pretty quickly with my 50-Page Rule.  (If I’m not into the book by page 50, I give up and donate it.  There have been exceptions to that rule, books I felt I should press on with because there was something there that did interest me.)

6. I am a terrible liar.  I can prove it:  Lie to me.

7. I have always wanted to learn to draw, but have not really taken the time to do so.  There was a brief period in 2007 when I gave it a try.  I was having serious back problems, living in a great deal of pain and barely able to walk.  It gave me something to do other than feel sorry for myself.  After a few months of a physical therapy plan I designed for myself, I was once again able to get out and about with the camera so the drawing attempts were put away for another day.  The things I did learn to draw during that time were cartoon animals which I turned into cards and/or postcards for my oldest granddaughter (only granddaughter at the time).

I’ve been thinking of giving it a try again.

Okay, then.  That’s two requirements met and I haven’t broken any rules yet.  I will do so now. The third requirement is that I should pass on this award to six bloggers I feel are Stylish Bloggers.  Honestly, I think you are all Stylish Bloggers.  Pick up your award if you want one and run with it.  Follow the rules, don’t follow the rules, but make sure you have fun with it.  I learned early in my blogging career that sometimes awards are not appreciated so I’ll leave it to you as to whether you accept or not.

I am, however, going to tell you about (and link to) a few blogs, old and new to me, I have been wanting to share with you all.  I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and this gives me the perfect excuse to do so.

  • Grace-full Thoughts.  I have been visiting Sister Catherine Grace’s blog for a few years now.  She is currently posting a chapter a day of a wonderful video series, Our Cosmic Origin Story.
  • Pat Bean’s Blog.  Pat and Maggie (Pat’s 13-year-old Cocker spaniel) are in their seventh year of traveling in a small RV.  I really enjoy her snippets on life, travel, and nature.
  • reinventing the event horizon.  Kathy is a writer and artist currently living Haiti with her partner who works for an international NGO that is helping with earthquake recovery.
  • Poems ‘n Stuff.  Meet the LadyP (or Pen) and enjoy some of her poems and stories.  She has quite the imagination and sense of humor, as well as a wonderful way with words.
  • Magnificent Minimalist.  Seriously.  MM’s stuff is funny.

I haven’t included any of the wonderful photography websites this time around.  I’m saving that for another post.

Today’s Walk

It dreary here today.  We had some rain early this morning.  There is snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning.  I didn’t do anything exciting.  Fed the birds, walked around in the slush a bit.  Good enough.

They can’t all be mesmerizing days.  Things would be rather flat if they were, with nothing to contrast or compare them to.

Happy 101.2

Time to finish this project.   If you missed it, you can find the first part here.

6. Books

I’ve been an avid and voracious reader since I learned to read.  Reading is my all-time favorite past-time.  I carry a book with me pretty much everywhere.  It comes in handy for those times when I have to wait (in line, for someone, etc.).

7. Yoga

Yoga and meditation keep me on an even keel.  A good yoga workout makes me sweat while simultaneously relaxing and rejuvenating me.

8. Hiking and walking

Walking and hiking are my two favorite forms of exercise, especially hiking.  This is a good time to mention that I’m doing well with my walking mileage goal for the year.  The total so far:  204.99 miles.

9. Spending time with family

Whether we hang out at home or go somewhere to do something, I always enjoy time with my family.  Having grandchildren to spend time with is icing on the cake, with a cherry and whipped cream on top.

10. Pedicures

My feet deserve the occasional treat after all the hiking and walking they do, and nothing spoils them quite as well as a good, relaxing pedicure.  And my feet look pretty, too.

I tried to take a photo of my feet in the snow after the pedicure I had yesterday but none of the photos turned out well.  I made several attempts before deciding there is no way to make my feet look good when they’re turning blotchy and blue from the frigidness of the snow.  Plus the color I picked this time looks lovely in the sunlight, not so lovely in the snow.  The cropped version above is the best I can do (since it doesn’t show too much of the blotchy blueness).

I’m supposed to pass this award on to ten other bloggers, but I’m going to wimp out and nominate everyone on my blogroll as I think you all deserve an award.  Feel free to pick it up and do your own list of ten things you like.  🙂

Happy 101

Meredith over at La Maison Charmante nominated me for this blog award.  While I appreciate and think all awards given to me are special, this one is very special because Meredith is my daughter-in-law.  Given the stereotyping of the mother-in-law, I think it’s pretty sweet to be given this award.  Thank you, Merdi!

I have a link to Meredith’s blog over to the right (and, as you can see, a few links within this post).  If you’re interested in design, fashion, and weddings (especially weddings!), visit Meredith at La Maison Charmante.  It is a charming and delightful blog to visit.  Meredith has excellent taste.  Not that I’m biased or anything.

There are, as with most blog awards, a few strings attached.  In order to accept this award, I have to list ten things that I like and pass the award along to ten other blogs.

So, without further ado and in no particular order, ten things that I like.  I’ve left out people because, well, I babble enough when it comes to listing ten things.  Imagine what I’d do if I started writing about the wonderful people in my life.

1. Paczki!

I like all kinds of food but right now paczki are high on the list.  That’s because I don’t often eat fried dough and sugar.  But paczki’s are my once-a-year exception to my no-donuts lifestyle.  Regular visitors might remember that paczki show up here on my blog once a year on or around Fat Tuesday which is the only time of the year you can buy these marvelous confections.  (You can read last year’s Paczki post here.)  My Nana (father’s mother) was Polish and paczki are one of several traditionally Polish foods that I like (but don’t often indulge in).

M came home with our yearly dose of paczki last night.  I had a lemon paczki last night and a raspberry paczki after lunch today.  The raspberry are by far my favorite.  Perhaps I’ll try the apricot next year.

The other reason paczki are front and center at the moment is because I’ve been a good girl, eating healthy and exercising, mostly refraining from junk food, fatty foods, processed foods, sweets, and alcohol (the word “mostly” being included because it’s good for a body to indulge moderately once in a while and I have allowed myself that much).  I have lost 15 lbs. since I started this new quest at the end January.  Food is not my usual reward (in fact, I’ll be having my real reward on Friday — a pedicure).

(See what I mean about babbling?  And I’m only at #1!)

2. The Four Seasons

No, not the band, the hotel, the restaurant, or Vivaldi’s composition (although all are nice).  Spring, summer, fall, and winter.

One of the things I like about living in northeast Ohio is that we experience four distinct seasons.  We have the extremes of winter (ice, snow, cold) and summer (heat, humidity, insects) along with some moderateness in the spring and fall.  Spring and fall have their extremes, too, in color and sometimes in weather when ushering in or out the season before or after it.

3. Finishing a project

It’s often easy to start something but not always so easy to finish (unless you’re left with little choice but to finish or live with the mess you created when you started).  Some things, though, are fun to both start and finish.

4. Photography

You probably saw that one coming.  I’ve enjoyed photography as a hobby for a long time.  For a little while I thought I’d try my hand at it as a business but have come to realize that there is more enjoyment in it for me as a hobby.  As a hobby, I do it for myself; sometimes for others but mostly for myself.

5. Travel

And adventure, of course!  But maybe not too much in the way of adventure.  As with most things, moderation is good.

I have a jambalaya to make (this being Fat Tuesday and all) so I’ll to finish this up tomorrow.  It’s off to the kitchen with me where I get to do something else I like:  Cook.

Hits and misses

(Goodyear Blimp over Cleveland last Sunday.  All photos © 2009 by Robin)

I know I promised a post about our trip up to Cleveland last Sunday.  This may be it if I have time to fit in everything I want to fit in.  Or I may have to do it in two posts.  Or come back tomorrow and start the first post.

Because, you see, there’s something else I want to write about first.  It’s a mystery.  A puzzle.  A puzzle within a mystery.  It’s, well, it’s all about the blog hits.  The oddest thing has happened.  Life in the Bogs has suddenly become popular for reasons I can’t fathom although I think I’m getting close to figuring it out.  I have been getting almost 300 hits a day on this blog over the past 4-5 days.  That is very unusual.   My other blog comes pretty close to that during this time of year (due to searches for red-beet egg recipes), but I rarely see that sort of traffic here.

It also looks as though someone is reading all of my blog posts.  Now, really.  That has GOT to be incredibly boring.  I can’t imagine why anyone would keep going after the first few posts.  Whoever (whomever?) you are, I admire your fortitude.  Thank you for stopping by and keeping old posts alive.

I have one other piece of blog business to attend to and then it’s on to Cleveland.

Back in March (March 23rd, to be exact), BiblioMom passed The Torch of Happiness to me.  I don’t want the torch to go out so I’m going to have to pass it on to someone else.  Thank you, BiblioMom, for thinking of me and my little old Life in the Bogs blog.

(Thank you, BiblioMom!)

Here are the rules:

The rules are that the recipient is to list six things that make him/her happy before subsequently passing forward the glee to others.

So, here goes.  Six things that make me happy:

  1. Seeing the color come back with the spring.  It’s green and yellow season here in the Bogs right now.  The daffodils and forsythia are blooming, the trees are budding, and the grass is beginning to green-up.
  2. Pedicures, especially pedicures that are not rushed.  (I had one this morning and my feet are very happy now.)
  3. Shrinking.  I’ve been losing weight and the weight loss is making me feel much more comfortable in my body.
  4. Jasmine tea.
  5. A good book, the kind I don’t want to ever end.
  6. Sunny days.  We get so many gray days here that a sunny one is always greatly appreciated.

This is not, of course, an all-inclusive list.  Since it clearly stated “things” I did not include people (other than by implication in #2).

Here is the part where I get myself in trouble by awarding/tagging others.  (Apologies in advance!)  Passing forward the glee to:

That was tough to do.  There are so many wonderfully creative bloggers out there in the vast reaches of cyberspace.  These are a few of my favorites.

That’s it for my allotted blog time for today.  I hope to be back tomorrow with that trip to Cleveland.

D is for Dragons

(Dragon plate.  Photo © Robin)

This is my favorite platter.  I purchased it during our sabbatical adventures.  Not because I needed another platter but because I like the dragons and the colors.

The snow continues to dance and twirl and fall from the sky.  It should end sometime this afternoon.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

The cats are enjoying the snow, at least from the inside.

(Bella and Izzy at the basement window)

Bella ran outside for a little while this morning.  She doesn’t seem to like the feel of snow on her feet.