December 31, 2007

Cheers !

Many thanks to all of you out in the blogosphere
who have enriched my life throughout the year.

Here’s wishing you and your family
a very Happy New Year.

December 27, 2007

'Twas The Day After Christmas ...

As the family story goes ...
Santa had left the packages by the fireplace with care.
The celebrations were over and all was quiet in the house.

When what to everyone's surprise,
it was discovered there was one yet remaining ...

I made my arrival into the world
around 4:00 a.m. on Christmas night.
So, officially my birthday has been known not by a date,
but by a title ... "the day after Christmas".
That is when my sister became
"the big sister".
Today, on my birthday, my sister sent the following message.
I want to share with you what a wonderful sister I have.
She wrote ...
I remember.
It was in the middle of the night, right after Christmas day,
a cold and snowy winter's night when the covers felt good --
and a really cold time to roust people out in the dead of night.
Mom awoke me from my sound sleep
and told me she was going to the hospital for you.
She said, "If you need anything
call your Auntie Olga across the street,
she knows you are alone
and she will come over in the morning.

For a seven year old, it was a surprisingly big assignment
to be left in charge in the middle of the night.
But I had no qualms.
I really looked forward to you being in the crib in the folk's room.
Isn't it grand that you exceeded everyone's espectations?
But Auntie Olga did not come over in the morning.
I was next awakened by dad telling me that you arrived at 4 am.
Mom would later say you arrived fast
and have been quick ever since.
Happy Birthday all day.
With more love than you will ever know,
Your sister, Elizabeth

December 23, 2007

Glad Tidings To All ~ Merry Christmas!

Wishing You The Peace of the Season
All The Year Through

May Your Days Be Filled With Happiness

And Your Home Be Filled With Love

December 22, 2007

About The Christmas Dolly ...

We know it is Christmas time around here
once this little moose-girl is comfy on her chair.

But there is something about this cat.
For MouseTrap, anything new, different, or moved
immediately becomes something to sit on and eventually sleep on.
Now really, how comfortable can it be to sleep sitting up?

December 21, 2007

December 18, 2007

Christmas Boat Parade ~ Dana Point, Ca.

A few days ago, we were off to the Dana Point Harbor
for the annual Christmas Boat Parade.
We were bundled up in sweaters, parkas,
wool scarves and boots for great fun!
The breeze off the water was ... cold !

This is the event where boat owners
decorate their boats for the Christmas holidays
and parade around the harbor.
Palm trees on boats seems to always be popular.

The boats are mostly decorated
by the boat owners and their families.

A few hire professionals to do the job.

Pretty much ... anything goes.
Each boat has music that matches the decorations.
This boat treated us with Hawaiian songs.

Dana Point is a beautiful harbor
only a few miles from our home.

We sat on the back of our boat enjoying hot drinks
with our friends and cheering each boat that went by.

Click below to see the great Christmas
fun that we all had while watching the decorated boats
and enjoying the Christmas celebration.

Dana Point Christmas Parade

December 16, 2007

Kayla ~ Daddy's Little Girl

You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold
You're daddy's little girl to have and hold
A precious gem is what you are
You are my bright, and shining star

You're the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree
You're the Easter Bunny, to mommy and me
You're sugar, you're spice, you're everything nice
And you're daddy's little girl

December 11, 2007

Can I Come In, Yet?

As you may recall from an earlier story on MouseTrap, he arrived as a youngster late one stormy night. Since we already had two cats guarding their domain in the house, MouseTrap was offered the hay barn as his personal residence.

That worked out real well for quite a long time. Every corner of the barn was his from top to bottom ... and there was nary a mouse to be found.

MouseTrap became friends with the chickens, horses, ducks and geese. He was soon hanging out with Kayla, the Golden Retriever, almost acting like a dog as he followed us around the yard and horse corrals.
They were pals. The only difference was ... Kayla could come in the house.

Then it got cold.

That is when MouseTrap called for begging support.
"Hey, mom ... please let him come in"!

Amazingly ... that worked.

He had hardly arrived in the house
before he went to work.
There just had to be a mouse in here, somewhere!

Now, with two cats watching his every move,
MouseTrap knew he had to act really cool.

There could be none of the hissing, claws routine ...
or he'd be back in the barn.
C-o-l-d ... remember?

The chair with the blue towel worked for awhile.
But this cat is an adventurer.

Oh yah ... now this is great !

The sunny place by the window was pure heaven.

Well, for a little while.
Lalique found this completely unacceptable.

This was not her plan.
In fact, she considered a good swat appropriate.

It was time for some diversion.

Let's see, maybe a little cat-nap will help.
Oh yes, he's a clever, clever cat !
Without one fight, MouseTrap was part of the group.
Only, he had it even better.
He was an "inside-outside" cat.

MouseTrap was still in charge of the barn.
There was only one desired place left ...

... on dad's lap.

"... all is calm, all is bright ..."

It's All In The De-tails ...

December 5, 2007

Holly Jollying ... Am I Breathless, yet?

I'm dashing, and prancing ...
The ladders are out.
Christmas decorations are all over the front lawn.
The boxes of ribbons and garlands
are down from the attic.

I've got my list of just who
has been naughty and nice.
Now, I'm off to fight my way through the joyful crowds
... presents, you know.
Oh ... yikes, the Christmas cards.

Be back later!

December 4, 2007

FuzzBuzz ~ An Armload of Love

Fuzz Buzz was a chosen child.
She was only a baby when we heard that she needed a home,
a place where she would always be loved.

It's unbelievable to think that this beautiful bundle of fur
had been abandoned in an apartment.
Fortunately, the local rescue shelter had found her.
We heard about this beautiful kitten and rushed to see her.
One look and we knew she belonged with us.
We quickly filled out the papers promising that
we would keep her happy with us, forever.
Soon, she was on her way home.

Kayla and Fuzz-Buzz were constant pals.

They both liked doing the same thing ...
just lying around.

Life was cool around this place...
nothing to worry about.

A favorite place to be was sitting on mom's lap.

Fuzz-Buzz was a non-stop purr machine,
a love-bug all in one package.

Fuzz-Buzz was also an expert in keeping Lalique warm.
She was a personal thermo-blanket.

It was certain you would find them always together.


Yesterday, we had to say good-bye to Fuzz.
Cancer is a dreadful thing.

We're going to miss this big bundle of love.
Our home just isn't the same without her.

When we took her as a kitten,
we promised to keep her happy,
but she is the one that made this house
a warm and cuddly place.

How lucky we were to have had her.
How sadly she is missed.


November 28, 2007

Just A Few More Barn Books ...

Ok, I've given up on building that stable in England that I was dreaming about. But what a delightful time I had looking at the properties "for sale" in that beautiful country. There were so many that offered such a magnificent lifestyle for the horses ... and me.

Have you ever searched those sites and seen some of the castles those horses live in? You really must try it sometime.

But here I am in my abode far from my fantasy and I'm now on to another interest ... old barns of America.
I made a trip to the library to gather an armload of books about the barns built during those years so long ago and about the lives that had been such a large part of our American history.

So, getting all cozy on the couch and covered with animals ... I began to look at these wonderful barn books and
wondering what stories they could tell me.

Page by page presented more and more questions. I wondered what kind of animals lived there. Did they have any Percherons? Did the children learn to drive those gentle giants when they were barely knee high to the horses?

I have always had a fascination for barns and have traveled many places taking photos of old barns. Some were still standing in all their glory, some tilting from the winds they have endured over the centuries.

But the barns I found truly interesting were the ones that were but a shell of their past, only remnants of the life once lived. Tall grasses were growing through the broken windows and the barn doors were no more.

Each book on the floor beside me had a character all its own.
Each barn a story.

I thought about my grandparents who had left Denmark to homestead in North Dakota, so very near the Canadian border. Through their determination and courage they built a sod house for their then four children on the barren unturned soil. They weathered the storms to live out there dream in a new country.

In time, there were 7 children, a farm house and a magnificent barn, which is still standing and remains a landmark in the area. It was in this barn that my father worked as a child and helped to care for the horses.

And, today, it is that same barn which still proudly stands ... filled with the memories of days long past.

Each book held me captive with pages of interesting designs,
beautiful locations ... and unique histories.

In many of the photographs, I felt a loneliness for the cold of winter
and the beauty of the fresh fallen snow I had known as a child.

Then I came to the last book.
I was in trouble again.

It seems I ended up where I began ...
dreaming of a barn so beautiful I could claim any stall for myself.

But to be honest ...
I think I'd rather have that old barn in North Dakota.

My grandfather's barn ...

It's such a part of me.


November 26, 2007

This stable just might work ...

Lately, I've been thinking that we need a new barn. The one we have is fine ... it's just that I'm not content unless I'm building or rebuilding something.
I think I mentioned some time ago that we have remodeled 7 houses (while living in them). And I'm getting itchy, again. My father was an architect-builder and I was the tag along. It's in my blood.
Then ... I saw this book, just page after page of beautiful stables. But the cover picture had "inspiration" written all over it. Isn't it just divine with that black horse in the archway?
I mean that could be Royal.
And just think how many horses I could collect. Maybe I could finally have several draft horses. How great would that be!
I just don't know why my "Hollywood" heart-throb thinks I'm going over the top. He says, "We don't even live in England".
Oh ... that's the problem?
The way I see it, this would require at least 20 acres of manicured lawns and beautiful pastures. I haven't seen many of those ads in Southern California, so perhaps we should move to England.
I eagerly began searching the sites for a "stately home" as they are called over there. That was a fun thing to do while the football games were going on and Kirk didn't have a clue that we just might be heading off to the United Kingdom. After all, we have a new barn to build.
It was during a commercial that I brought up the subject.
Ok, here's the bottom line.
I get to keep our barn, I can't move to England and I'm supposed to stay away from book stores until this blows over.
Well ... it was great while it lasted. As for the football, I have no idea who won, but it's for sure ... I lost my game.
Tomorrow, I'm looking around this place. Maybe I could find a few walls to move, or something.
Oh, if you're planning on a new barn just click here.

November 25, 2007

The garden, today

My tranquil corner of the garden.