Monday, February 28, 2011

Break from the Cold

My parents spend their winters in Florida, and this year, we decided to join them for a week. Tennis anyone?
They stay in the panhandle of Florida, so it's not the warmest part of the state, but we had excellent weather while we were there, the warmest days they've had in those parts this winter.

All but one day were sunny and bright, warm enough for shorts, and nicely humid, which felt wonderful to my poor dessicated northern winter skin.

Even though we had lots of sunshine and bright clear skies, I have more photos of the cloudy, windy day, because I like how dramatic the beach looks in such conditions.

This was a science museum, which looked intriguing, but we didn't go because we wanted to be outside!

Ocean beaches (technically, the Gulf of Mexico here) have much different debris than we find on the shores of the Great Lakes. We saw lots of small jelly fish, and this huge one:

My daughter was shell-hunting instead of rock-hunting, and instead of a Rock Shop, we stopped at a Shell Shop!

We don't see pelicans on Great Lakes beaches.

A heart-shaped impression in the sand.

Ocean beach still-life:

We drove there and back. This next photo is for you Glee fans:

Trivia: my paternal grandfather was born in Lima, Ohio!

We arrived home to find that my daughter's friend, who had been feeding our cats, left us with a surprise treat to welcome us home to the Cold North. Snowman cupcakes! What a sweet treat!

This is the first time in 8 years that I've gone someplace warm in the middle of winter. It was a nice break, but now I think spring is going to seem even farther away than it usually does.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Festivities

With my love of all-things hearts, this time of year can be dangerous for me to be out shopping. I saw this felted heart with chain-stitched embroidery in a shop window downtown a few weeks ago, and I resisted it for days, thinking to myself I could easily make one myself, but then I didn't make one myself, and as the number of hearts in the shop window dwindled as more and more shoppers snatched them up, I panicked and bought the last one on Saturday. Little things make me so happy.I finished stitching this funny little valentine last night. I want to make it into a small pillow, but that's not going to happen today, so I will have to present it to my valentine still in the hoop. The pattern is from Wild Olive.

Treats for the children. My husband had to go to Germany on business a few weeks ago, and he had one free day for site-seeing, so he went to a chocolate museum! Ooh, good choice of activity! I told him to be on the lookout for Valentine things for the children, and this is what he found. They will have to go on their Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt to find them.

I have had this heart necklace forever. My grandma gave it to me when I was a child. I don't remember exactly how old I was, maybe 9 or 10? I wore it for special occasions, and then when I was a teenager I stopped wearing it. I am not sure why. Maybe I felt like it was childish or out of style or something. As you can imagine, I have collected quite a few heart-charm necklaces over the years, and I love them all, but this is one I never reached for, until a few days ago, when I saw it hanging in my jewelry box and thought, you know, that's a really cute necklace.
Not too big, not too small, really just right. And I don't think it looks childish or out of style.

My grandma was born on Valentine's Day. Happy Birthday, Grandma. I miss you. Thanks for the necklace. I love it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It wasn't as bad as they predicted

I know some places really got slammed by this storm system that covered much of the country, but we got off pretty easy here. It was very windy and snowy last night, and I was glad to be tucked in safely at home, but all in all, I've seen worse storms. Much worse!

It was too windy for the trees to get coated in snow, but I like how the bare branches look against the blue sky.

Outdoors it was a minor blizzard, but indoors we have spring.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feb. 1 Yard: The Calm Before the Storm

We have a blizzard warning. I took these first-of-the-month yard photos about six hours before the storm started. The flakes started coming down right as it got dark this evening.

Normally my walkway is cleared, but we had an inch or so of snow last night (a pre-blizzard snowfall), and I figured with 6 or 8 or 10 or 12 or 15 inches of snow on the way (predictions have been varying), I wouldn't bother to shovel until it's all done.
My January 1 photos weren't all that exciting, because it seemed like nothing was going on in the yard, but when there is snow on the ground, we have proof of activity:

Rabbit tracks!

We shall see what this storm brings.