Monday, December 31, 2012

12 for 2012

 I put together 12 photos for 2012.  One of my favorites for each month.  Some months were a bit difficult due to lack of photos and then other months were a bit difficult due to many over the top photos.  

I hope you enjoy the 12's and are ready to make 2013 the best that it can be.













 Now I hope you don't mind but I'm taking the rest of the year off.  Enjoy your night

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cottage Birds and Beauty

I could split these up between Saturday and Sunday but call me lazy..... so it's another photo overload.  So much for my POTD.

This weekend we finally made it back up to the cottage.  A long awaited trip that we should have MADE time for but we didn't.

We had feathery friends spending some time with us.

Okay so maybe I baited them.....   When I was packing our food I grabbed a bag of chips and found about 30 bags with crumbs in them so I dumped them all together for the birds..... it worked for the Blue Jays anyway.

So we get to the cottage after John worked half a day.  We got up there about 1:30 and we know it's going to be cold until the furnace catches up to a comfortable temperature.  So we unpack the truck, never fails we always have a full truck to take up, someday I'm sure we'll be able to pack an overnight bag and that's it.  Surprising we've almost furnished and decorated that whole place with stuff from our house and garage.  

The snow was falling from the trees with the sun making it sparkle on the way down.  John challenged me to photograph it.  


Just in case you can't see the sparkle here it is closer.

So after the truck is unpacked I take my shoes off to put some stuff away and one trip to the fridge I say "Wow the floors are COLD".  Didn't think much of it since the rest of the cottage was cold too.  I'm putting towels in the bathrooms and John goes down to the basement and yells..... WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED DOWN HERE"..... oh no that ain't good.  Then it got worse and cuss words started to fly.  I quickly leap down the spiral staircase to say a few cuss words myself.  

A little closer for the sparkle

Love the depth in this one.

River is not looking like a river anymore

Oh do you want to know what happened in our basement?

Let's just say it could have been a lot worse than it was.  All Saturday afternoon and night John was ready to sell.

The basement is a walk out on one side and a garage on the other side.  We don't use the garage side for a garage but there is still the garage door with the opener.  Not sure how but the garage door was open.........  Yep we heated the outdoors, not sure how long it was opened or how it got opened since we don't use it.  Remember we haven't been here for a month.  The water was froze, there was an ice skating rink on the floor but the pipes were not broke, there were no animals living in there, there wasn't a snowdrift to be shoveled and the toilets were not frozen and busted .......... YEP it could have been worse, oh don't get me wrong it was bad and disappointing but we recovered and so did the pipes.  

The water was back in the morning, we turned everything on and all is well.  We will never go that long without running up to check things out again.  Especially for this first year until we learn all the "what's going to go wrong" while we are away.  

Enough of the bad..... let's go for my walk.....  It was a beautiful morning

This is the boat landing and while I was down there someone was up on the road watching me, pacing back and forth on the road.  I'm thinking the quiet dead end road doesn't get many visitors and there are some neighbors that don't know me yet.  I guess it's a good thing we have a neighborhood watch since we leave our doors wide open :)  Might have to give out our phone number to this guy so he calls us next time.

The sun came out and I turned to the west and the sky was so blue.

It was a relaxing weekend at the cottage since we didn't have water to do our chores but I did get them done on Sunday.  All the cleaning is now officially done, decorating has started and it looks so nice in there.  I'm going to have to start taking indoor pics to show you.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sunshine in winter

is the only medicine I need.

I don't know why but when the sun shines I can do so much more than when it's cloudy.   When it's close to setting I love the shadows that it makes across the snow with the golden color and the sparkly snow.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Birds are back

"The birds are back"  is what I hear when I'm in the back of the house doing something.  I of course have to come look and there weren't as many and I was saying to myself.  "you don't need any more pictures of the birds so don't grab your camera" and then............. I freak out.........  There's a male, there's a male!!!  Scramble begins to get the right lens on the camera, settings off auto, I expose by pointing it out the window so I don't waste time in the cold........dang no card...... after a few minutes I am out the door and getting a few safe shots before I try to sneak up on them.  

Here he is all bright and pretty, matching the barn and shed behind him.

Then I start to sneak up on them getting super close this time.  

He didn't want to look my way and I was starting to shiver with slippers and no coat so I whistled to get his attention my way.  He spun around but still was more interested in eating.  

Okay buddy now I got your attention and I think you packed your grumpy eyes.

But he's right back to eating.

Should have changed my settings so the female was in focus but I wasn't sure my numb fingers could work the buttons.

The berries are pretty much all gone so I'm sure this is the last day we will see them but I'm very happy with the photos I got of them.  Super stoked to have something new to photograph.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Parties

I find myself leaving my camera in the camera bag more often than I ever did.  Our grandchildren are growing up before our eyes and I need to take in every moment that I can and that does not include sticking a camera in their face every moment.  Our Christmas together was above fantastic and just catching a couple pics in Auto mode was such a relief to me.  I lived the moment and have a few snapshots to remember our time together.   {sigh}

Monica had to work so she opened a few presents before we ate.  I love the way Adam watches her, she is a wonderful girl and fits right into this family.  Hey Shannon did you think you could look for your presents without me seeing you????  

Our meal was venison (per request) and BBQ ribs.  OMG it was delicious.  Lynn and I talked about how venison only taste good when John (dad) makes it.  He is the best venison cooker ever. 

Here are the kids really enjoying their Christmas meal...... but we're missing one right?

Oh don't worry she's down here by me deciding how to get out of eating anything tonight.  So let's put our feet on the table..

The girls put Adam in charge of handing out dessert.  They wanted him to experience being a dad and learning how to be the last one to eat.  Even Grandma got involved.  She made Adam give her a kiss for the pumpkin bars she made.  Adam passed the test, everyone was served dessert before him..... that's a first.

Everything was finger (fork) licking good

I did tell the kids I wanted one photo of all of them in front of the tree and I got what I got and was more than happy with it.  Wilson's last photo for the year..... can you find him?

I handed out gifts and played with their toys so the camera stayed in the bag during that whole time.  This was a while after when Garrett is showing Grandma Great his ornament and Elly is practicing her patience with getting her gift set up.

Mallory and Max got lots of new musical instruments and they loved them.  Mallory is trying out Max's new drum.

Max had to slow down for a story to be read to him.

Elly is always trying to help the little ones with their toys.

And El with her new Kindle Fire...... She was way excited. 

Garrett and Adam in 7th Heaven with new legos.

Mally with another one of her musical instruments, or should I say two of them.  She was playing one with her right hand and shaking the other with her left.  Music is her thing.  Our fun new fireplace for the cottage is her music stage.  

Every year is a ornament photo and this year they got fun Microwave pets that were a big hit so of course they had to hold them.  

Miss El with her BLUE ornament and Panda bear

Miss Mally and her pink ornament and kitty named Purrrrr-dy

Garrett-Man with his red Owl and elephant

And Maxwell did not want to sit by the tree and since it's a year of no forced photos I improvised and got him with his blue Owl.

Maxwell would rather do his Look and Find with Grandma Great

Miss Jealous...... had to have her picture taken too.

We were so thankful John mom got to spend Christmas Eve with our family.  She loved watching the little ones and their new toys.  She gave them money and said "My thought was to have them spend their money and not allow the parents to put it into their savings......after tonight........ put it in their savings"

Our night was a blast and there were NO SPOILED KIDS at this house..... honest!!

Christmas day at Gayles started with fun drinks

Fun cups and fun straws......

And we might do things a bit weird but we have fun.

A first sitting at our Christmas dinner.

Played lots of Bingo and Family Feud.  The grandkids were unbeatable..... a few funny moments from our games.

Name santa's reindeer.............. Shannon "donald"

Name something found in a Christmas stocking......... my dad says apple, Connie hears popcorn and says says I said Apple...... Connie says okay you can change your answer.......X........ dad says, I said Apple first............. {Not sure why I heard popcorn from apple} but I was not about to tell dad he couldn't change his answer and the brothers knew it so they were telling him to say he said Candy cane.  Laughing hysterically, game had to be delayed until room stopped laughing and I almost peed my pants.

Name the figurines in a Nativity set................... Elly says a horse

Name a Holiday drink.............. John's team decides on Cider and John says Tom and Jerry.....X..... should have went with cider, number 3 on the list.  Team now hates their captain.

Kristy and Grandpa going for the win............ Grandpa beats Kristy while Kristy stands there with a deer in the headlight look.

Bingo got a little out of hand too............ we played at the end of the day for leftovers.  Everyone is packing up things to win in Bingo so they don't have to take home their leftovers.  We are a crazy family but we have fun.