Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day Trip on a Snowy Morning

and a Mystery Visitor at Home

spied these two horses with there wooly winter coats
as we rode through the countryside about an hour north.

and a mystery visitor at the feeding station this morning.
Solid black all over with a gray bill.
Slightly smaller than a robin and slightly larger than a junco.
Can anyone identify it?

"Animals Usher Us to Grace"
----Roselyn Elliott

Friday, December 30, 2016

" the opening year ..."

Chill air and wintry winds!
My ear has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.
---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

January Re-Runs . . .


I'm looking forward to.

(photos from January 2016)
Daily visitors

Indoor Gardening
then and now

Jigsaw Puzzles

Bright brisk mornings

Just to name a few.

I always eat January snow flakes!:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Drawing to a Close

January 2016
a time to reflect on future goals

December 2016
a time to acknowledge another year of grace.

Looking forward to 2017 and all it has in store.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What is Normal?

Slippery Rock University opened its doors March 26, 1889 as Slippery Rock State Normal School with the primary purpose of training teachers. In 1926, the institution was purchased by the Commonwealth, renamed Slippery Rock State Teachers College, became a four-year teachers college, and continued the tradition of teacher training.
Slippery Rock State College was established in 1960 and for the first time, could award undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts and in the professions. Expanded curricular offerings and an increased number of degree programs created an appreciable rise in enrollment. It was granted university status in 1983.
Today, Slippery Rock University is a four-year, public, coeducational, comprehensive university offering a broad array of undergraduate and select graduate programs to more than 8,500 students. The University has earned full institutional accreditation through the Middle State Commission on Higher Learning and discipline specific accreditations.
Located in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, the 660-acre campus is less than an hour north of Pittsburgh, one hour south of Erie, and 45 minutes east of Youngstown, Ohio. Two major highways, I-79 and I-80, intersect with seven miles of the University, conveniently linking it to the entire Commonwealth and its contiguous regions.
The campus is situated in the borough of Slippery Rock in Butler County, Pennsylvania, a safe and friendly community of approximately 3,500 people.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Thanks I Needed That

Hustle, bustle, 
anticipation, disappointment, 
energy, down with a cold
countdown, over
and then ...
HIS perfect timing and reassurance
Onward with Hope

Pictorial Tuesday

Clean Sweep

The Lions Club sells these brooms as a fund raiser.
They are made by the Blind Association.

Happy Boxing Day!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

But His Tail is Hidden

How to tell a Hairy Woodpecker from a Downy Woodpecker
Size and tail color are two of the biggest clues 
when deciphering these two backyard regulars.
This is a Downy

Wishing everyone the merriest of Christmases
and looking forward to all the Critters in 2017.

Friday, December 23, 2016

In the Midst of it All . . .

remember to pace yourself

we all have our limits

Christmas Reflections
It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It’s not wrapping presents, its being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time;

Message of the Christmas Tree: Life Is "Ever Green"St. John Paul II

The message of the Christmas tree, is that life is "ever green" if one gives: not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening.

Joy is the True Gift of Christmas
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

     "Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not the expensive gifts that call for time and money. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us.…Let us pray that this presence of the liberating joy of God shines forth in our lives."

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, christmas tree and indoor  
(two out of seven of the 'Merry' in my Christmas) 
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Wishing everyone 
moments of Reflection
the Beauty of 'Evergreen'
Merry Christmas


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sunrise, Sunset

Thankful for the shortest day of the year signalling the onset of more daylight to come.

A unique sunrise from earlier this week

A stunning sunset last night on the shortest day of the year.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Light Favorite

With all the delicious pies, cookies and desserts of the season, this one always seems like a lighter alternative which I haven't made in several years.

There are several recipes out there. My version is from Betty Crocker with some variations from time to time.

 The recipe calls for 9x13 pan but I went with layers this year to serve on two occasions. Here are photos of the process. The recipe is at the bottom.

I prefer a fork with larger tines to provide 
a larger reservoir for the jello.

 The jello is prepared with less water than normal.

This is the first time I used whipped cream. 
Now that I know it doesn't hold up as well as Dream Whip
 that won't happen again.

 Garnished with cherries for Christmas red.

Hmm, maybe we'll start with dessert


box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
box (4-serving size) Jell-O™ raspberry-flavored gelatin
cup boiling water
cup cold water
container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed (3 cups)
Fresh raspberries, if desired


Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).

  • Make and bake cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour.
  • Pierce cooled cake all over with fork. In small bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until smooth; stir in cold water. Pour over cake. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Refrigerate 2 hours. Frost with whipped topping; garnish with raspberries. Store covered in refrigerator.

Ruby Tuesday
Pictorial Tuesday
Countdown to Christmas

Crusty Cut-outs

Hmm, mmm


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Holly and the ...

well, no Ivy
but the snow is a lovely compliment 
to the berries and leaves.

And 'Snow' It Began

Just after Noon

Continued into evening

So pretty when the snow is back lit.
And still coming down lightly

The temps are predicted to dive over the next two days
which should maintain the beauty for family
arriving from Tennessee on Friday.
(grandpa says sled riding may be in order)