Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Great Blue Heron

We saw the most beautiful Great Blue Heron on one of our hikes.


You would think he had mating plumage with the colors around his face and feathers out the back of his head.


But it doesn’t seem likely in December. What do you think?

A little perspective…


he was in the marshy area between the trail and the Rainbow River.

We also saw an Eagle as we stood on the bridge at Blue Run Park in Dunnellon.


Not the best photos but I was excited!


I know it’s bitterly cold in most of the nation today. (I don’t mean to rub it in but it’s close to 70 here this weekend and we hope to make one more hike this year which would be #53 and match what we did last year)

Stay safe and warm!

Happy weekend!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Books “My 2017 Reading list”

I love to read. I remember reading aloud when I was in the second grade and I was terrified to read in front of my class but also elated. I don’t watch much TV, my husband and I read in the evenings after dinner. Goodreads is great for keeping up with the books I’ve read. I don’t write lengthy reviews but I like to write a little something about every book I read. My Goodreads tab is on my sidebar if you want to look over my reviews. Or you can click HERE.

I read 68 books in 2017 and when I went back over my list, I realized I gave only ONE book my highest rating!


The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.

It was phenomenal and I’ll be ready to read it again next year.

I think it was my best year ever for good books though. I discovered a new series that I dearly love. The Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen is SO good! And several of my favorite authors had new books come out this year. Louise Penny, David Rosenfelt, Alexander McCall Smith  and Charles Finch to name a few.

And since I just finished an amazing book this week, I have to mention


The Third Hill North of Town by Noah Bly.

I could NOT stop reading it! I stayed up late and picked the book up to continue reading while I ate breakfast. It would be better NOT to read the reviews on this one.

Just start reading….and enjoy the ride!

  Do you have that ‘one favorite book’ this year? 

Happy Reading!

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays.

Monday, December 25, 2017

***Merry Christmas***

I hope your holiday is filled with joy and holiday cheer!


Happy Holidays to all of my sweet blog buddies!


I made these Christmas cards to share!

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God Bless you ALL! Island with a palm tree


*** Merry Christmas ***

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Puffins, Puppies and Palm Warblers!

That sounds like quite a strange combination for a ‘critters’ post!


I’ll start with the sweet Palm Warbler I saw on the Florida Trails when I hiked this week.


The only ‘unusual’ siting on Hike #50 was a horse! I had my camera ‘at the ready’ and happened to look down the trail just as this horse (and rider) turned off into the woods on the horse trail!


So where did I see the puffins and puppies?

I got new flannel PJs and one has puffins,


the other puppies!


My favorite pair of pjs are still my Scottie dog pjs (from Christmas past).


A special thanks this week to Eileen for a wonderful year of Critters, Saturday’s critters HERE

and Anni for our bird linky party,  I’d Rather B Birdin’.

I look forward to these parties EVERY weekend!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas “Wednesday Wee Ones”

Some of my dollies have their holiday PJs on just in time for Christmas.


I made these little pjs and robes last year.


Don’t you love this Puffin from Iceland! (thanks D & J!)


Wendy loves to sit on the sofa surrounded with her favorite things!


Wendy has her Christmas pajamas on while she reads her new book.


My friend Joyce from the Bear’s Blog has written a book, Three Bears and a Vulture just in time for Christmas giving.


It’s a fun collection of stories for all ages!


We’re enjoying being in Florida during the holidays, taking advantage of the nice weather to get outside more.


*** Merry Christmas ***

from the dollies here at my house!

Don’t forget to take time to PLAY!

Happy Wednesday Wee Ones!

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Colorful Christmas

You can NOT improve upon nature for beautiful winter colors!


We saw lots of color in the woods when we hiked last week.


And the sky was gorgeous!


Hubby took these photos and I love the way they came out!

Even the pinecones I picked up were reddish brown.


I hope you can get outside this week and enjoy nature!


I’m joining Mosaic Monday HERE .

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Walk in the Woods in December

I know many of you love the winter season but we retired to Florida to enjoy the mild winters!


(Bending your neck all the way to look UP at the sky!)

We’ve been getting some cold nights but it’s in the 70s for highs this week so I hiked in shorts in December! I love it!

We saw lots of beautiful sights on our hike #48 on the Florida trails this week.


I’ll probably save a few photos for a mosaic.


We saw lots of little birds and even a flock of about 50 Chipping Sparrows!


The camera overexposed this pic but it’s still pretty neat to capture two Chipping Sparrows! (thanks hubby)


This pretty Dove posed for us!


And there were lots of these lemon yellow Palm Warblers.


I love this photo! (thanks hubby)

Lots of beauty when you take the time to stop and look around…


or look UP!

Have a fabulous weekend! Island with a palm tree

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

“Evergreen Swags”

My new favorite decoration! I usually buy a fresh evergreen wreath for my front door but this year I have swags!


I stopped at the Crossroads church nearby that has a Christmas tree lot this year and asked if they had simple wreaths. No, but they had an area with branches they had trimmed from the trees. So I asked if I could have some bare branches. He asked how many and I said, how about $10 worth!


Then I went inside to visit with the lady there and find out more about their mission to help those in Puerto Rico. The lady out front is from Puerto Rico and her family is still without electricity. It’s good that we continue to remember them in our prayers.


Next thing I knew, I had a garbage bag filled with freshly cut branches!

I placed one branch on top of the other and used a big wire twistie to hold them together. Then made a loop with a piece of wire and Voila! I grabbed a bow from another ‘project’ and it was done!


But I had more branches so I made another one for inside the door!


We have a glass door so most of the time during the day, our big door is open like this!


So it’s nice to have something pretty on each side!


Walk around…


Oh but I STILL had more so I put them in a big basket and placed a perfect pine cone from one of our hikes on top. PERFECT!


I wish I had ‘scratch and sniff’ on my photos so that you could smell the wonderful evergreen scent. Do you have some fresh greenery in your home this season?

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Pixies and Flocked Deer

I remember these cute little pixies in our decorations when I was a little girl.


So I’ve collected them over the years.


And this year, Hobby Lobby came out with some with the same sweet faces.


You can find them all over my house this month!


I’ve also loved the old fashioned deer and always make a little display of them in our entry.


Christmas brings back good memories of my childhood.


It’s fun to spend Christmas in Florida and we usually drive to the beach for the day. One year, I took a pixie with me!


I like to make a few new traditions as the years go by. Nothing stays the same, does it? It’s nice to hang on to our good memories but always be open to making new ones!

I’m joining Mosaic Monday HERE .