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A Spring Wildflower Walk ~ What Could Be Better?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The spring wildflowers are about three weeks later than last year, but hey, they were three weeks early then.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a walk today. I hiked through the nature preserve with two of my friends, and took so many photos, that I think I will post different ones on different days. My main photography goal today was to catch the beginnings of blooms. Most of the spring wildflowers were just starting to bud.

I love the skunk cabbage; it is so sculptural.

As to my fitness goals, so far today I got in 14,000 steps and 30 floors. emoticon

I hope you enjoyed the early peak of spring. I think tomorrow I'll post the flora and fauna edition of my hike.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 4/26/2013 10:16PM

    The wonders and beauty of nature. emoticon -- Lou

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BARBARAJ73 4/5/2013 12:00PM

    Love your pics... at this time of year it's all about noticing the little things in nature. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 4/4/2013 8:42PM

    Love spring wildflowers: you inspire me to get out looking this weekend (none last weekend when we took Charlie for a run in the swamp).

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JLITT62 4/4/2013 7:42AM

    Be grateful you have lowers! Today is the first day in 3 days I didn't wake up to snow. And we won't even get into the wind. At least they've forecast some 60s for next week.

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    Nice close-ups! They bring hope.

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KOMAL53 4/4/2013 4:38AM

    Beautiful--brought the sweet fresh scent of Spring into my hot,humid Mumbai Weather!!Thank You for that great whiff of Fresh Air!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 4/4/2013 12:13AM

    I love your pictures of nature!

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FLAMENM 4/3/2013 10:18PM

    I love it when the wildflowers prrk out of the ground and tease us that blooms are right around the corner.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 4/3/2013 9:59PM

    Awesome Fitbitness! Those little buds are amazing, how can they be so tender when the weather is so hostile?

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ASTABETH 4/3/2013 5:16PM

    I love the little curly stems with the buds just about to open - lovely photos!

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LMB-ESQ 4/3/2013 4:59PM

    Nothing could be better :-) Very pretty! You have a photographer's gift. Out of curiosity, what kind of camera do you use?

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    Spring is generally late this year. Damned Groundhog!

Make Today a Great Day!

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Staycation Day 3

Monday, April 01, 2013

I haven't slept well the last couple of nights; I seem to be plagued by weird, complex, and frustrating dreams. I think it is because I just have too much on my plate and I'm struggling to keep on top of everything.

My stay~cation has been involved with following up on the candidates for the teaching position at my school, arranging their guest teaching and interview times, and delegating calling their reference contacts, etc. I'm also getting all of my tax stuff prepared, and taking care of getting my yearly check-ups scheduled, hair cut, poodle groomed, blah, blah, blah.

It isn't as onerous as it may sound, because usually I am juggling all of this AND working full time. At least I can intersperse walks, visit with friends, and reading time, and if I didn't sleep well get some kind of nap in.

It's great to have my fitbit back! I have been getting in good walks, with the exception of today. Now I really need to get back to weight training. Since it is my vacation, I really should get to body pump and get started with that again. I have fallen off that wagon and for some reason it's hard to get back to it. I enjoy the weight training when I do it. I'm not certain what the hang-up is getting back into it.

And finally, FINALLY we are getting a bit of sun. It is still cold for this time of year, but what a relief to see blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and that yellow shiny thing,

Not only is it wonderful to see crocuses, but also to see the sun shining through them.

Big sigh!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 4/2/2013 8:08PM

    Enjoy the staycation! I love my Fitbit too! It's soooo motivating!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 4/2/2013 1:17PM

    That is a beautiful thing, your fitbit! I want that number on mine one day.
I have crocuses by my door, they are completely underground now but I feel certain of spring as soon as I see them.
When we hire we only reference check our preferred candidates after their interviews. A big time saver.
Have a great sparky day!

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LMB-ESQ 4/2/2013 7:14AM

    I always get excited about crocuses. We've had the green parts sticking up for a couple of weeks, and finally I saw some blooms a couple days ago. Now if only the snow would stop! I hope you get some restful break time in!

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CBLENS 4/2/2013 7:01AM

    So good to have a staycation! Enjoy.

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    My daffodils are finally blooming! Funny thing, over the years the blooms have shrunk and I now have a patch of miniature flowers. I'll take a picture with size comparison later.

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KOMAL53 4/2/2013 4:14AM

    Those Crocuses look lovely--glad you guys are getting Sunny Boy back!!In Mumbai we're literally cooking--both the Tempratures and Humidity are pretty bad--and that too with April just begun---I shudder to think ahead to May and June!!Besides thanks to Ritu's Chemo we'll have to stay put in Mumbai till all the Cycles are over!!Guess I'll be going mad with all the Pickling I've got planned---after a while won't need to announce my presence--the smell will be enough to say that I've arrived!!! emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 4/2/2013 12:33AM

    What is holding your FB?

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BARBANNA 4/1/2013 10:44PM

    Good that you can see the positives of your life! Enjoy you time off!

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KAPELAKIN 4/1/2013 10:05PM

    Hope you find some time to relax in between all of that! I love my staycations; I always feel so much better after a week of cleaning and sorting and clearing my head. Have fun!

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And the Winner is......

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The late Victorian!

Please don't think I'm absolutely lacking in imagination when I build this. I may have to stay with the color combination of pink and gray for sentimental reasons. The house I grew up in was pink and gray.

But wait; there's more!

It was REALLY hard to decide because I loved them all with the exception of the traditional, mostly because it was too similar to the house I build for this year's gala. So my BFF gave me a surprise.

She bought the cottage kit for me!

I will probably wait until the following summer to build this one.

As for the Keep, this one is funny. Some people love it, and others really don't care for it at all. I have great visions for this one and think people will be amazed at a finished castle keep. I still plan to buy the plans so I can get some experience in building completely from scratch. This one may be for me. As you know from my fairy house, I am really into fantasy. For the Keep, I want to do landscaping with a moat and do up the interior with tapestry wall coverings and fire places. A dragon needs to be part of the theme.

I am going to try to get back to playing my guitar this week. My plan is to practice only short periods several times a day instead of long sessions. I have been wearing wrist braces for my carpal tunnel issues and that seems to be helping. It has been very frustrating staying away from my sweet guitar this long. I hope my wrists and thumbs are up to playing music again.

Another thing I want to do to take advantage of spring break is to take several long Stella walks a day. Today looks like it will be rainy, maybe even a little snow. emoticon

But the rest of the week looks like it will be mostly sunny. The squill is up, little sparkles of lapis blue, and the daffodils look like they will blossom out in a couple of days. Spring has been awfully slow in coming this year, but it IS coming. Yay!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Hooray, my favorite!

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IUHRYTR 4/1/2013 8:48PM

    Looking forward to the finished house. You'll do a bang-up job. -- Lou

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CLAIREINPARIS 3/31/2013 5:50PM

    Woohoo, lovely! The cottage was my favorite, so I am really glad your BFF bought the kit for you. The Victorian house looks lovely too. It sounds so interesting to read what you want to do with the keep, that will be exciting!
I hope your wrists and thumbs will be ok... Enjoy playing the guitar again!

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ROCKMAN6797 3/31/2013 2:31PM

    You may have to contract out some of the work! emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 3/31/2013 10:49AM

    Yay! My two favorites! emoticon When you do build that castle keep, I will love seeing what dragon you pick! It sounds pretty cool the way you describe it!

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KASEYCOFF 3/31/2013 9:38AM

    Oohh, love the winner! Re the keep: a few years ago we went to Dover Castle. English Heritage (sort of like The National Trust) has done it in as authentic a style as meticulous research can make it. I was struck by the bright primary colors used on the furniture. Go here:


...and in the photo-sequence at the top check out #4. That keep would be a challenge, especially from scratch, but what fun to play with the colors--!

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Would Love Your Help ~ Public Opinion Poll

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I was pleased my dollhouse did well in terms of bringing in scholarship money for my sweet little school. Several people expressed interest in bidding on one next year, so I think I will build one. However, I would build it over the summer rather than when my available time is already crazily pinched, crunched, and otherwise decimated.

This weekend, I have a 40% off sale I can take advantage of so I need to make a decision pretty fast. I have eclectic and eccentric taste, so I'm not always the best judge of what the rest of the world wants. I am wondering what your various opinions are, sweet friends. If you were going to buy a dollhouse for your child or grandchild or niece or nephew, which would you most want to get?







Whatever this is ~ Late Victorian?


a Castle Keep?

If I built the castle keep, I would be trying my hand at completely building from scratch since no way on earth can I afford the kit which is not on sale.

I would love you to help me out and cast a vote.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JET150 3/31/2013 1:49PM

    Am I too late? I love the cottage! Makes me want to shrink to doll size...

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SIRIRADHA1 3/31/2013 10:17AM

    Late Victorian. Definitely! That house just oozes character.

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KAREN91 3/31/2013 6:47AM

    I liked them all except the castle. The cottage, tudor and Victorian were my favorites! emoticon

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1SALMON1 3/31/2013 12:00AM

    They are beautiful - but for me it would certainly be the Keep. Heck, I'm 60 and I'd play with it now! My daughter is 40 & I bet she would love it. However, I am confident whichever you decide on will turn out great & be much anticipated next year! Can't wait to see what you decide on!

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MERRYMARY42 3/30/2013 9:47PM

    Love the tudor, just like the home I want when I grow up emoticon but seriously I love them all, the castle may take me a bit to get used to, but I bet kids would love it, princess, Sir Lancelot, you know, lots of imagination at work

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CLAIREINPARIS 3/30/2013 3:49PM

    This is fun!!! My favorite is the cottage. I also like the traditional one. The only one I don't like is the keep. it looks cheap to me.
I know whatever you choose you'll have a lot of fun working on it... even though I can imagine how hard work it must be! I am really glad you accepted to make another one for next year and can't wait to see pictures of it!

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KASEYCOFF 3/30/2013 12:23PM

    The keep is brilliant, and could be appealing to either gender, especially for a child of younger age. But I hear you on the sale / no sale part, and from scratch could be pretty daunting. (I'm not sure of your skill level, workshop equipment, etc.) Of the others, I like the Tudor the best, and would happily get it for one of the kids in my family. For myself? I like the late-Victorian: I grew up near a town with a lot of mansard-roofed big houses.

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LAST20FORME 3/30/2013 9:54AM

    Definitely the Cottage. Love the roof and the art of the lines in that structure. I would put a front lawn on it with a tree with squirrels. I would then buy it to give to my contractor to make me a real one. That's how much I like it.

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LMB-ESQ 3/30/2013 9:26AM

    Going by what I would most like to live in, I look for the most exposure to the outdoors. So the Victorian has a great wraparound porch and a widow's walk, but the cottage has lots of windows and rounded walls and great little balconies. Those would be my favorites. I also like the look of the beams in a tudor. The castle, having almost no windows, doesn't work for me, and the traditional is ... eh... traditional.

Haha, maybe you should design your own using your favorite elements of each!

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GAILANN48 3/30/2013 9:16AM

    Castle Keep is my first choice (though I understand the issues) and Traditional is my third choice. If you need a third it would be the Victorian. Just looked at them, and I think my unconscious deciding factor was to favor three floors of rooms over two.

Whichever you choose, have fun!
:) Gail

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    The pink with gray porch reminds me of my grandmothers area in Pittsburgh. When we visited we slept in the "attic" dormers with the ghosts.
Clawfooted tub, ya got me there!

The stairwell was fun to plan on too!

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JLITT62 3/30/2013 8:28AM

    The traditional doesn't do much for me & I really don't like the castle . . . but I love the rest!

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MICHELLEPHANT 3/30/2013 8:17AM

    emoticon them all!!!!

I want for me! Hahahaha...I know my goddaughter would live the cottage....for me...the castle keep! You do beautiful work....*bows to your skillz*

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MELLIESUE13 3/30/2013 8:10AM

    I too would go for the cottage ... for my grandbaby or myself lol. The good thing about having a grand"DAUGHTER" is.. I get to play too. emoticon

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CBLENS 3/30/2013 7:56AM

    The tudor is my fav.

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TRAVELGRRL 3/30/2013 7:36AM

    They really are ALL beautiful! My vote would be for the 3-story houses because they simply have more rooms and would be more fun to play with!

BTW, I always wanted a doll house when I was a little girl; you've inspired me to think about building one for my granddaughter! As she's only 8 weeks old I think I could get it done in time!


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0309COOKIE 3/30/2013 6:30AM

    They are all beautiful (except I don't care for the castle). If I HAD to choose, I would pick the Tudor. Second choice would be the cottage.

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CHALLENGER15 3/30/2013 5:49AM

    I believe you will enjoy building it more during the summer. They are all wondrous!

I kept thinking "I really like this one" and then I scrolled on down and thought the same thing about each! [Maybe some more summers are going to be involved...???]

For me personally, probably the late Victorian, but that is because it brings to mind a particularly happy vacation about 30 years ago when I toured a neighborhood with my SIL looking at Victorian homes. But that's just me...

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AMARANTHA120 3/30/2013 4:03AM

    I'd probably get them all, they are all beautiful.

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TLG71567 3/30/2013 3:35AM

    Traditional. They are all lovely though.

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PONYFARMER 3/30/2013 3:32AM

    Well do the horses come with the castle, cuz that would get my vote if they did? If not then the cottage!

You do beautiful work!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 3/30/2013 3:08AM

    What a great idea. So hard to choose, but I would go for cottage for my little grandniece.
How lovely to be doing this when you have plenty of time to enjoy. Good thinking Pudle.

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Yes, It's March. Yes, There's Snow. But It's Beautiful! Drop by and See.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I am home with a sore throat and ear infection today. I won't be taking any long walks, but I did need to take Stella out this morning, so I brought my camera along. I wish I could post the sounds along with the images. I love it when there is a thick layer of snow; all of the sound is muffled and soft. Just the sounds of birds chirping.

I posted a lot of landscape snow photos before, so only the close-ups today.

I don't deadhead the echinacea at the end of summer because the finches like to snack on the seeds through the fall and early winter, and at times like this, it can look so sculptural.

The snow drops and daffodils are snow covered.

This mockingbird was tucked into the branches,

but then came out to be sociable with me.

Not a bad day to be sick, really. It is a lovely day to have my feet up by the fire and watch the birds at the feeders while I sip hot lemon and honey drinks.

Have a lovely Monday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLYM48 3/31/2013 9:24AM

Thanks for the beautiful pictures. The snow is beautiful but now I am ready for it all to melt and those pretty flowers to poke their shy little heads out and start blooming.

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CLAIREINPARIS 3/30/2013 3:50PM

    Beautiful! And I also really love the sound of walking in the snow. Thank you for sharing these pictures with us!

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MEDDYPEDDY 3/30/2013 2:01AM

    I can see the snow disappear a little every day, but it is painfully slow as it is really cold at nights... this weekend we will change into summertime, means moving the clock forward an hour, usually it is full spring when we do this, but this year...

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MARY1313 3/26/2013 5:59PM

    Oh sorry you are not feeling well Teacher Lady! I hope you get well soon and thanks so much for sharing your world with me!


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JLITT62 3/26/2013 8:20AM

    Feel better soon!

I don't care how pretty it is, I am sick of it & am so, so grateful we escaped this latest storm.

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IUHRYTR 3/25/2013 7:08PM

    Too bad you had to pass up your long walk but Stella likely enjoyed the snow. Doesn't she always? Relaxing in front of a fire sounds cozy. Feel better soon. -- Lou

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MERRYMARY42 3/25/2013 3:46PM

    beautiful wet heavy snow, the best kind to make snowballs with, love your pictures, sorry you are under the weather, feel better soon, but that hot lemon and the fire sounds mighty nice

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0309COOKIE 3/25/2013 2:00PM

    Sorry to hear you are not feeling well Chris. Hope you feel better as the day goes on.

It is snowing here and we are supposed to get one to three inches. I am ready for the spring and am tired of the snow, although your pictures were quite pretty.

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TRAVELGRRL 3/25/2013 1:56PM

    Love the photos, thanks for sharing!

Hope you feel better tomorrow!

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ANN1MOM 3/25/2013 1:36PM

    Hope you are feeling better soon. I'm a bit jealous of your late snowfall, we didn't get ANY this year. It's a mild, sunny Spring day in Oregon. Thanks for all your support for our team. You ROCK!!! emoticon

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LOSE4LIFE47 3/25/2013 10:40AM


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