Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

I took this photo just as the moon would have been coming up today. We couldn't see it for the fog, though. Wishing you and yours a blessed and wonderful New Year. We could all use a blessed one now, couldn't we? Cheers, my friends.

Just a little bird

Female cardinal
Taken from my kitchen window late this afternoon, hence the blur. She's pretty, though. A couple of textures added: an older one from Ghostbones and a newer one from SkeletalMess (formerly Ghostbones) at Shadow House Creations. There is a cornucopia of textures at this site, so check it out.
Hope your New Year is a good one, all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The lamp is burning low upon my table top

Holiday decor

The lamp is burning low upon my table top
The snow is softly falling
The air is still within the silence of my room
I hear your voice softly calling.

If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two

I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter's night with you.

Music and lyrics by Gordon Lightfoot
Sung by Sarah McLachlan

To listen to this song, {click here}.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The apple pie that wins hearts

Homemade Apple Pie
Someone was cranky today. I won't name names but decided to cheer that someone up with one of their favorite desserts. This homemade apple pie is really wonderful, people. It's simple and perfect, and easy to prepare. The recipe is from Farm Journal's Country Cookbook (Doubleday & Co., Inc. 1959, reprinted 1972) and I highly recommend this pie.


A pie that lives up to its name ~ it's one of our best
Pastry for 2-crust pie
6 large tart apples
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. butter
Peel and quarter apples into saucepan (cut each quarter into about 4 slices). Add 1/4 cup cold water; simmer just until tender, about 5 minutes (do not overcook). Cool.
Fill pastry-lined 9" pie pan with cooled apples.
Combine remaining ingredients, except butter; sprinkle over apples; dot with butter. Moisten edges of undercrust.
Adjust top crust; cut 6 chevron vents; flute edges.
Bake in very hot oven (450 deg)10 minutes; reduce heat to moderate (350 deg) and bake 45 minutes longer.


I use an old family recipe for the pie crust. And if you must know, it's Betty Crocker pie crust mix. Just add water and roll. And I always put a heart in the middle. It's a symbol of how much I love to cook.
Apologies to all who are planning on dieting for the New Year. I just had to share this.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekly dose of George

Weekly dose of George
Somebody's been digging. Probably in an old groundhog hole. Good job, George.
Contest still going on at my other blog.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Little brown wren

Little brown wren

This little fella flew into our mudroom on Christmas morning. I choose to think it is a good sign. He moved remarkably fast but I managed to get a photo of him clinging to the wall.
You know, it's funny. With Christmas over, I was feeling a tad bit bereft of happiness. (I actually speak this way in real life, so don't get all jumpy).
So here I was feeling this way and thought I'd just go on up to bed. Then I remembered I had yet to post for today and began to look through my holiday photos which made me smile, as did this little bird. AND . . . The Bishop's Wife just started. I think I will stay up for awhile. Not so bereft anymore.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday traditions

Christmas Cracker
This is my Christmas cracker from dinner last night. Inside was a joke, a plastic toy and a silver paper hat. We wear the hats during dinner. And we tell the jokes, which are not at all good. My favorite joke this year (and this proves how bad they are): "What is a frog's favorite drink?" Answer: Croak-a-Cola. So, yeah.
My husband's family is from Great Britain and the tradition of the Christmas crackers at dinnertime is one of my favorites. My least favorite is the figgy pudding. Oh, I love the lighting of it, but the taste? It must be an acquired taste. I have yet to acquire it, however.
I love Christmas at my in-laws. This year, however, we left before charades.
Giveaway over at my other blog today! Come celebrate my two-year anniversary at blogging.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I love wrapping presents

Christmas present
I couldn't stay away, could I? I love wrapping gifts and this is one that I'm taking to my in-laws tomorrow where we play the Dirty Santa game. If you want to play, you bring a gift worth $25. All the gifts go into a pile and you count them. You then take slips of paper and number them, then put them into a bowl. Everyone who has brought a gift now chooses a number. Number one goes first and they choose a gift from the pile. Then it's number two's turn. They can either choose the already opened gift from number one, or choose another. It goes on this way until the last person goes. There are rules to follow, like not choosing your own gift until it's opened, and that a gift can be stolen no more than three times, and maybe there's another rule too but I forget. It's fun and now the grown children are participating, which makes it all the more interesting.
I want to thank you all for visiting me here on my Picture A Day site. I love reading your comments and sharing my photography with you. Have a beautiful holiday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpecker
This industrious little woodpecker looks almost identical to the Hairy Woodpecker, but is smaller and has a smaller bill. They love the suet block we have hanging on the dogwood tree. Photo by my husband.
I will be taking a few days off to spend with my family and friends and will post when I can. Until then . . . Happy Holidays to everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our next holiday card

Snowing at the manor house
I almost began this post with an apology for all the snow pictures I've posted. (There are two slide shows at my other blog). And then I thought, I can do what I want. No need for apologies.
One commenter told me that I should use this as next year's holiday card after seeing a portion of it in the mosaic (post below). It was snowing like mad and the wind was blowing it onto my face, stinging my skin. George looks happy, though.
I used an action from Kevin Kubota that I've never even noticed in my set before. It's a creative effect called Kubota Light GlowSoft Highlights. It gives the background of the photo a slight gaussian blur, lending an almost-dreamy look.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mosaic Monday: White Christmas

Mosaic Monday: White Christmas
I didn't think I'd have time for MM this week, but here's my offering for what it's worth. We had 17 inches of snow on Saturday, setting a new record for December. In fact, we had more snow in one day than what we usually accumulate in the entire month of December.
We're still snowed in here but we've got power and are quite comfortable. For other offerings of beautiful mosaics from all over the world, please visit my friend, Mary at {Little Red House}.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Red-winged blackbirds in snow

Red-winged blackbirds during snowstorm
This is not a remarkable photo as far as I'm concerned. But I like it. A little. I'm taking a cleaning break and trying to get some photos ready to post on the other blog.
D Sharon Pruitt texture applied.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

La porte rouge

La porte rouge
I love doorways and this is one I found absolutely striking. Taken from the car window in New York City, August 2008. That beautiful stone work is mesmerizing. Skeletalmess texture applied.
Interested in a giveaway? Shhh. Don't tell. It's going on at my other place.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

O, Sycamore

O, Sycamore
Just breezing through my old photo files and found this under Holiday 2007. I love sycamores in the wintertime.
I used Florabella's vintage summer as well as Florabella's nostalgia texture on this shot and love the color of the sky.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Give me something good to eat

I love this salad
Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to work in a school (in the main office no less) and have parents bringing in holiday treats on a regular basis. As scrumptious and tempting as their offerings are, a girl really needs to watch her figger ya know. So when a parent stopped by today with a big bowl of fruit, I could have kissed her. And now I am craving this little number.
I found this recipe at The Noble Pig, and it quickly became one of my all-time favorites. I posted about it on my other blog last January.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Morning in Maryland

Morning in Maryland
This morning, as I was packing my lunch, I happened to glance at the scene unfolding through my kitchen window. And sometimes stopping everything and grabbing the camera is just the right thing to do.
Hope you have a beautiful day. Glad you stopped by to visit.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday mantle

Holiday mantle

Trying to get into the spirit, I did a little holiday decorating today. The lights help.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowy night

Snowy night

The night before we had the bad weather this week, the skies were this lovely shade of blue/gray. Then I found this SkeletalMess texture over at Shadowhouse Creations [link] and suddenly, I knew what photo I wanted to use it on. This one. And I just think it looks cool.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weekly dose of George

Weekly dose of George

Taken by my husband last February, George sits on the back patio after a game of frisbee. He's probably wondering if that was a squirrel he just saw. He has that look about him.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot

It's beginning to look a lot
Like winter. And Christmas. I took this photo this evening, wanting to capture the lights my husband strung on the widow's walk. I love having them to greet me when I come up the driveway after a long day. Two textures applied, to help with the fact that the photo is rather on the fuzzy side: Skeletalmess' Arctic Chill [link] as well as a snowflake texture by D Sharon Pruitt on Flickr [link]. Sorry, they're not real. But that is real snow on the roof and the ground.
Big storm a-comin' from the west. Take care with that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I love a good beach

Connecticut beach

Taken at Sherwood Island State Park, Westport CT. Florabella's vintage wine @ 35% opacity. Yum.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Time after time

Time after time

I loved Cyndi Lauper when she first burst onto the music scene. She was such a hoot.
[30 sec listen]
I guess I'm in a 1984 frame of mind.
I shot the clock in a nearby town and added two textures, after converting to sepia: Florabella's platinum and SkeletalMess' Old Film TV.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Every time I think of you

Vintage pansies

Every time I think of you,

I always catch my breath
And I'm still standing here, and you're miles away
And I'm wonderin' why you left
And there's a storm that's raging through my frozen heart tonight
I ain't missing you at all.

I always liked this tune. Liked it even more when John Waite, who wrote and recorded it in 1984, re-recorded it with Alison Krauss in 2007. Here's the video [link].

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Your weekly dose of George

Weekly George: Naptime
Napping on the couch, probably after a rousing game of fetch. Or frisbee. George has it made.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red berries and old birdhouse

Red berries and birdhouse
All the leaves have gone, and the berries remain. It was a deliciously beautiful day in Maryland this past Sunday. And life was good.