New Year's Eve Winter Road Trip

After enjoying a beautiful drive around the lake today I decided to put the photo images all together with music. Enjoy an afternoon road trip in my scenic corner of the world.

Sibling Assignment #87: A Perfect Day

I gave the assignment this week. "Describe a perfect day. " I will link my siblings' posts when they are done.

My perfect day would be a Saturday in the spring. It would be perfect to pick one of those days when the gardens are just coming alive and it is warm enough to be outside.I would start my day with enjoying the Meyers Falls Market blend coffee made by our local coffee roasters. Toast with orange marmalade would be on the side.This favorite wall hanging of mine reminds me of that need for a spot. It hangs on the door of my home office which is where I would then continue with my perfect day. The view of the front gardens is perfect as I take time to appreciate the world around me. I will light a orange ginger aromatherapy candle for energy. The rest of my morning ritual of reading my daily verses, checking news and online activity on my laptop will take place as I appreciate the sounds of Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copeland and The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Packing up a picnic, cameras, music, and the dogs the rest of the day would be spent on a road trip with JEJ. In the spring of the year it is nice to catch the world beginning to turn green. I also love sky pictures.Upon returning home we'll grab our favorite beverages, build a fire in the gazebo and sit and enjoy the sounds of the birds and the crackling fire. To really make it a perfect day I would have stopped for a Gourmet Vegetarian pizza at Papa Murphy's so I won't have to cook dinner!

Downloading pictures will be my first task after moving back into the house. That will be the time to reflect on the peaceful day. It will be time to write my blog and check in on other blogs. Finally, it is time to grab a book on the nightstand and settle in for some reading before bed. As I lull off to sleep I count my blessings and smile remembering a perfect day.Now I am off to create another perfect day in the snow and sunshine. Happy New Year!

Photo Images of Snowbound 2008

We had a bit of a reprieve today as the wind stopped blowing and the snow let up. I kept taking pictures as we walked around our place, drove along the county road, and managed a trip "to town." There is not much else to do outside! While JEJ has been very busy removing snow from roofs, the trellis wasn't a top priority. It makes for a unique picture. At the Kettle Falls bridge Lake Roosevelt looked as gray and cold as the sky. A field along the highway shows deep snow and a house that was being built. That project may be put on hold.This is the snow pile in the parking lot at Safeway in Colville. Yes, the traffic lights are about the same height. At the Clock Square in Colville the group of statues look like they are wearing while ski masks. The rest of the square got buried under a pile of snow. The bird feeders are still wearing snow caps back at home.JEJ decided to do some finishing touches to the driveway after our friend came and plowed. More snow is predicted tomorrow. Somebody asked me if this is usual. This snow has broken all records in our area for snow in December. No, this much all at once is not normal.

A Cure for Cabin Fever: A Morning in The Greenhouse

As another four inches of snow fell today I surrounded myself with memories of summer as I deadheaded, replanted, restored, and rejuvenated the plants in the greenhouse.
Bundling up in fleece I kept warm and content with a thermos cup of coffee , soft music playing in my ears, and the smell of dirt and scented geraniums enveloping me.
Considering the cold temperatures the plants have done fairly well. A few tender plants on the floor close to a window got some frost damage, but many have continued to bloom.

The cats love to visit me in the greenhouse and while working I kept finding them peeking out from behind plants and pots.It is hard to take in how much snow has fallen. This is the doorway of the greenhouse with Annie standing on top of the snow bank. Some of this has come off the roof, but this is deep snow.
Through the greenhouse window I observed JEJ heading off with a ladder to do more snow removal on the outbuildings as Annie runs ahead. We have about three feet of snow around out place.
I marveled at the icicles through the light of the window.

As I turned this pot back from the window I was pleasantly surprised at the lovely blossoms. This healthy scented geranium will provide great starts as we begin propagating in a few weeks.

Here Comes The Sun

Finally, after at least ten days of gray skies, the sun peaked out this afternoon. There is nothing like sunlight to illuminate a beautiful winter landscape. It gives us hope that the snow may taper off in the next week. It also helps in melting the icicles. It is much more fun to be out snapping pictures when there is a place to walk! As long as snow looks pretty I don't mind it. When it gets sloppy, slushy, gray and dirty is when I want to hibernate!

Happy Birthday Raymond Pert!

"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. " ~Clara Ortega

Today has always been a special day in our family. Not only is it Raymond Pert's birthday, but he born on our Grandma West's birthday. She always said he was the best present she ever got. Even though RP and I are less than thirteen months apart in age, he was always the one who learned to do things first. He was the overachiever, I was the follower.
At an early age RP took in information at lightening speed. Here he is reciting the states and capitals while I just try to keep up! Ummmm....did you say Bismarck or Boise?He was also an early reader. Mom guessed he learned to read by figuring out the words on the cereal boxes. Here we are at Grandma Woolum's on Bridgeport Avenue in Spokane. RP is giving me a lesson on sounding out the words on the ingredients list and I am trying really hard to pay attention! RP was also a whiz in the kitchen at an young age. Dad always said if you can read, you can cook! Here he is giving Mom some tips on how to eliminate peas and mayonnaise from the dish she is preparing. Again, I am just trying to keep up! Brother RP was always the problem solver in the family. Here we are back at Bridgeport Avenue. I have no idea what is already in the trunk and what is in the box, but you can tell that Thinker RP has a plan!Raymond Pert is a teacher, writer, husband, son, brother, father, actor, blogger, photographer, dog lover, book lover,movie lover, music lover, sports lover, casino lover, and friend. One of the highlights of the last year was inviting him to be our guest writer at the annual writing retreat I help organize in McCall, Idaho for the Northwest Inland Writing Project. Here he is enjoying the evening beauty of Payette Lake.

Happy Birthday Raymond Pert!! You can visit him at his blog here.

Living in the World of Ansel Adams

About a week ago I uploaded Ansel Adam's Nature Photo of the Day on my Internet homepage. I don't know if my eyes needed a rest from the razzle dazzle bright colors of Christmas, but I kept gazing at the calm nature photographs and was drawn to the detail and beauty of his black and white subjects. My surroundings have looked like an Ansel Adam's photograph the last few days. The sky is gray. The best colors to capture are black and white. In a snowbound world the eye is drawn to simple details like caps formed by snow on birdhouses or a snowflake in a screen window.

I read more about Ansel Adams today and learned that he focused his photography on the west, particularly Yosemite National Park. He was also commissioned to photograph the National Parks and Indian reservations. I really love this photo taken in Glacier Bay, Alaska. The stunning picture is taken at Lake MacDonald at Glacier National Park, a place I have been.

The famous print of a rose and driftwood at the top captures the intricate detail of the bloom opening as it contrasts with the texture of the wood. If I can get out on the road tomorrow I will take my camera and spend time capturing simple subjects in black and white.

Remember December: Z is for Zone: The Snow Zone

a view of the gazebo before JEJ shoveled the snow off the roof

As I end my alphabet posts tonight it is only fitting I write about snow. We measured two feet of the white stuff at our house today. We watched it snow most of the day, but thought we would take a little drive to see how it was outside our neighborhood. The county road had not been plowed at all. We meandered slowly toward the state highway just to see what shape that road was in. The five mile drive was beautiful, but very slow and snowy. Not too many people were traveling today. Here are some images of snow in my corner of the world on Christmas Day. Here is the county road just north of our house. The road sign is hard to see as we head back up Highway 20 toward home.This is at the bridge at Sherman Creek. The creek is hidden under the snow.Here is the snow across the road from our house that our friend plowed from our driveway.

Remember December: Y is for A Joyous Yuletide!

From Our House to Yours!

Remember December: X is for Xmas Traditions Here at Home

Christmas traditions was the topic I wrote about previously for letter T . I shared the traditions I enjoy upon returning to my growing up home for the holidays. You can find that post here. JEJ and I have our own traditions at our home here in the snowbound area south of Kettle Falls! We have often stayed home for Christmas Eve to attend our own Christmas program and/or service at The Garden Valley Church. Next was home for a quiet dinner while enjoying the fire and our furry family as we opened gifts. Then we headed to Idaho for Christmas Day. Other years we go to Kellogg for Christmas Eve which is always special as we celebrate a Country of the World dinner at the home of Silver Valley Girl. This year we are snowbound and housebound. It will be different, but we look forward to creating our own Christmas Day traditions. In all my years of adulthood I have never cooked my own Christmas Day dinner. This is my year!
One of the special parts of the Christmas season is preparing gifts and goodies for JEJ's family. Fortunately most of them live close. He loaded up the gifts and goodies in plastic tubs the other day before too much snow had piled up and navigated through the winter wonderland in Ferry and Stevens Counties to deliver holiday cheer.

Another tradition is to unpack my nativity from childhood and set it up on the piano. I let the light burn above the manger during the holiday season as a reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ. I did another post on the nativity here.

A few years ago I fell in love with poinsettias. I decided the fresh ones were too unpredictable so I found a collection I could use year after year. I love this new tradition. After adding a few candles it is a simple way to create a festive mood, plus the cats don't seem as interested in playing with them and the dogs realize they are not toys with squeakers inside.
As we enjoy a quiet day in our snowbound home we will create new traditions. I would love to drive somewhere to capture winter images with my camera on Christmas Day, but finding a place that we can safely get too may be a challenge. I know there will be Christmas music playing, a special breakfast for two will be in order, and some presents will be opened. I look forward to these new traditions although I will miss my family back home.

Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends and family. May your new year be filled with hope, peace, and promise.