I can't believe it's already December 28. Where does time fly? I know that is a cliche, but it's a good one. My mother always told me that the older you get, the less time there seems to be in a day, or a month, or a year.
I think it's probably a good time to appreciate all the time that we have and make good use of it. Life is a gift.
In terms of trying to complete some cross stitch projects (when I started this blog, I intended to have many cross stitch projects as the focal point of my blog, but it didn't happen), I have entered a small, cross stitch challenge with a few of my friends.
Many of my friends have entered big challenges. Many projects to complete in a year. I can't. I am not a quick stitcher. I admire my friends who are. I try, but I make mistakes, and it never seems to pan out. So, this year, I am working on six projects that I want to see to completion. These projects are:
1. Acorn Sampler by Praiseworthy Stitches
2. Joy by Turquoise Graphics & Designs
3. Winter Wind by The Prairie Schooler
4. At Home with Jane Austen by The Sampler Girl
5. June Berries from A Fine Collection by Blackbird Designs
6. Red Birds from Just Cross Stitch Magazine, Issue November/December 2011.
Winter Wind by The Prairie Schooler
These are all beautiful designs. I have had several of them for a long time and have always wanted to stitch them. The Red Birds from the Just Cross Stitch Magazine is a beautiful (and large) design. I have a beautiful piece of fabric, Nightingale from Birds of a Feather for this design. I have started Acorn Sampler and Joy. I am looking forward to stitching all of these designs.
I have three squirrels who have decided to live in and around my yard. They have a favorite tree. One I believe is a female. She eats her food but hides a great deal of it away. She is my favorite, and the one who is pictured here. The other is probably a male, a little bigger and more rambunctious. The third squirrel is a renegade. He comes by once in a while. I know they're rodents and can be a problem, but I prefer to coexist with them. I give them peanuts and some corn. I think they look absolutely adorable. They also provide endless hours of entertainment for my cats. . .and for me!
She holds on to her dinner quite tightly.
She seems quite happy eating her corn and hanging out in her tree.
I took this picture of the moon a few nights ago. It is lovely but a little misty. It is a perfect moon to accompany my reading of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. I can just imagine this moon watching Catherine and Heathcliff as they run over the moors.
Emily Bronte was twenty-eight years old when she wrote Wuthering Heights. Except for a brief period of time, she spent her entire life in Haworth on the moors in Yorkshire. Her quintessential character Heathclilff remains the perfect example of the Byronic Hero in Literature. If you have never read Wuthering Heights, please do so. Emily Bronte demands a great deal from her reader, and, in return, the reader will discover a novel filled with memorable characters, a complex narration, and a chilling setting.
Happy Fall. I know it's already been Fall for a while, but it has been a beautiful Fall. Some years we have so much rain that the leaves fall off of the trees so early, and it is bleak and damp all day. This Fall, however, we have had glorious days filled with sunshine and gorgeous color leaves. We have had some rain, but not to the extent where it ruined the fall leaves. I live in front of a nature area, and I am amazed at the wildlife around me. I took this picture of a small hawk with a blue head. I know he's a predator, but he is beautiful.
I took this picture of a beautiful blue heron who was perched in a tree behind my house. There were two blue herons who flew in, but they went in different directions. I tried to take a picture of them as they both joined in the air and flew out together, but I couldn't take it quickly enough. I love Autumn. The other picture is just of the golden grass behind our house.
I bought this autumn card from Victorian Trading Company many years ago. I think it's beautiful for this time of year. Even though we've been in the eighties the last couple of days, these autumn days will be coming.
Snbwball is still suffering from his allergies. He has been up and down with them all summer. Over the week-end, his nose got runny, as did his eyes, and his throat was raspy. He got a really good check-up from a wonderful vet, Dr. John. Snowball is in good health but is just suffering from allergies. He got two shots, one antibiotic and one steroid, plus another round of eyedrops. He is so happy to be home. Jessie Rose was giving him kisses of welcome when he returned. Dasher was as usual aloof and cool to him. Here is a picture of Snowball with signs of his allergies.
Gartner snake. A few days ago I was looking out of my front window and saw this adorable little squirrel. He was sleeping at first, then he woke up and just relaxed, and then he ran around and found some food. Finally, he ran up my tree. We have not had many squirrels in the neighborhood, so it is a novelty when I see one, especially since this one has apparently taken up residence in MY tree. Then, I looked to the left, and I saw a Gartner snake. Now I know they're not poisonous and won't really kill me, but I am AFRAID of snakes. When I was five years old, I was out in my backyard with my Mother. I saw a snake and pointed at it saying (according to my Mother), "pretty, pretty." The snake was starting to strike at my hand. My Mother scooped me up and ran me over to my Grandparents' house, right by our house. My Grandfather (my Father was working) came over and killed a huge Copperhead snake. I have had a fear of snakes since then, but since I was safely in my house, I took this Gartner snake's picture. I also wanted to make sure that my little squirrel was safe. Some other pictures that I took show the advancing days of Fall, beautiful days. October IS my favorite time of year!
Isn't he just adorable?
This is my favorite color of mum. This one is sweet to look at on a Fall day.
The grasses in the nature area behind my house are turning shades of gold.
One of the trees behind my house is starting to turn color.
And still, in the midst of Fall, my Lilac Chiffon Geranium continues to bloom and enchant.
I am so far behind in my posting. I am a teacher, and I went back to work on August 19. My job does so much consume me. I love teaching, so the lesson plans, grading, and preparation take up the majority of my life. I also love my Blog though, so I am going to get back to posting on a regular basis. My special cat Jessie Rose was relaxing in the sun the other day, and I couldn't resist taking her picture. I have a few more pictures that I took this weekend. I hope you enjoy them. I am going to get busy reading, commenting, and posting this week. Thank you to all my followers who have stayed with me through my inactivity.
Jessie Rose really likes to relax in the sunshine.
The purple wildflowers behind my house look so colorful this September.
I have these gorgeous wild Black-eyed Susans behind my house.
This hawk in the nature area behind my house comes to this tree quite often.
I saw Stevie Nicks in concert at the Rosemont Theater near Chicago last night. She was so beautiful, ethereal, and magical. She sang songs from her new CD as well as classic songs. "Landslide" is my favorite song, but I also enjoyed many of her new songs. She put music to Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Annabel Lee," which he wrote about his wife Virginia. It was wonderful to see her. I have a few pictures which turned out quite well.
I went to see Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field on Sunday. He was absolutely fantastic. He is an amazing musician. He sounded great; he played over 30 songs, performed for three hours, had two encores, and was charming. It was an extraordinarily hot night, but I was on the field, close to the stage, so I enjoyed it immensely. I will forget how hot it was, but I will never forget the joy of seeing Sir Paul perform.
I inadvertedly ordered two kits of The Magic Forest by Elsa Williams. I had one on backorder for a while, and I ordered another one without cancelling the order after I got my first backordered one. It is very nice. It does have Aida, so if you don't like to stitch on Aida, you may wish to get a nice piece of linen. I did that. I also have a nice piece of 40 ct. Nutmeg linen. I can't see on 40 ct. linen. Why I bought that I don't know. I have a beautiful piece of 32 ct. Amber. I also have some other nice patterns that I will be happy to send to you. I am not having a Giveaway Contest. If you would like these items, just let me know. The first person to post and say she wants it, I will be happy to send these items to you, plus a few surprises.
The weather here in the Chicago area is very hot, in the nineties. Checking on the flowers and gardens often to make sure they're not wilting in the sun. The cool air-conditioning is too welcoming. I love to have my doors and windows open because I love to hear the birds chirping outside. We have so many birds. I hate the closed-in quietness of the air-conditioning, but I hate the hot, humid weather more. I do love summer, but summer does have a tendency to get just way too hot. I did see two small birds outside of my kitchen yesterday morning. I had the wrong lens on my camera, and I didn't get the close-up I wanted, but I was afraid if I went to get the lens, the birds would fly away. After I took this picture, I did go get my other lens, but, alas, one bird flew away, and the other bird showed me his back.
If you follow my blog, you know I have three Maine Coon Cats. Each cat is unique and adorable. Dasher, who is the alpha male, is extremely intelligent and takes charge of the other two. Snowball, who is my middle cat, is really Dasher's half-brother (they share the same father but have a different mother). Snowball is sweet, but a little aloof. Then I have Jessie Rose. She is the female of the group, and is a sweet, sweet cat. She is shy and loves to eat and be babied.
This is Jessie Rose. She loves her treats and waits patiently to get them. She will turn a circle when she asks for treats.
We had a double rainbow the other night. I was only able to get a picture of the main rainbow; the other faded quickly. I love rainbows; their color and magic lets us know that God is in His Heaven.
I love rainbows. They are so beautiful. They always remind me of my childhood.
I got ten pounds of blueberries; some I froze, and with the others, I made a cake and some great muffins.
This is a blueberry cake. I love this cake. It is so good. I found the recipe from the blueberry farm where my husband bought the blueberries.
These are my blueberry muffins. They are so good. I keep making them and expect my family to eat them.
This is one of my perennials outside of my kitchen door. I have blue and white flowers. I love how the sun makes a shadow of the flower.