Monday, December 10, 2018

Kitchen and Tableware

An oval stainless steel crock pot from Hamilton Beach.
Brushed Stainless Crock Pot
Early this spring I started wading through all the cupboards in my kitchen, trying to pare down the excess gadgets and things that I didn't need or use. That's a tough thing to do sometimes. I had a lot of things I might only use once or twice a year, but ... I still do use them. In the end, I had to keep a lot of those items, but I did manage to get rid of a few.

At one point, I think I owned 7 or 8 crock pots (slow cookers) ... I had gathered all of those over the course of 5 or 6 years. I had one that was given as a shower gift before we got married (so, about 43 years ago) and I still use that one (more than most of the others) and the balance came from various garage sales over the years.

Why? Right?  That's because when we did family dinners I got tired of spending all my time in the kitchen and then, by the time I got dinner, it was cold. The crock pots allowed me to to prepare everything just ahead of the dinner hour and I could eat with everyone else.

Monday, November 12, 2018

It's a Grand Day for Snow - or NOT!

Winter birch trees and a large will with a snow-covered base and blue sky.
Willow and Birch
This past weekend we've had our first major blast of snow here. Although we do get a lot of snow over the winter months, it usually doesn't start quite this early. October and November tend to be months where we get a "sprinkling" of snow; the kind of stuff that usually melts away pretty quickly, but the snow we just got was the kind you had to shovel, more than once, and then spread ice-melter (we don't use salt, cause it's bad for the environment and our city water systems) so you can walk without pulling a Three-Stooges move.

Shrugging myself in a winter coat that feels as though it weighs ten pounds, pulling on boots to my knees, grabbing a heavy knit cap, scarf and gloves or mitts ... is so not the highlight of my day.

I'd really prefer if the snow and sub-zero temperatures would hold off until sometime in January, when we are comfortably sitting in the warm sun and blue skies of our home in Florida.

I'm not a happy camper right now. I can handle a certain amount of cold weather (provided I'm bundled up like a polar bear), but I'd rather be warm year round. And I've come to hate the snow. Seriously hate it.

Oh sure, there is no denying that on a sunny day (even when bitterly cold) when the sun sparkles off fresh-fallen snow like a myriad of tiny diamonds, it's beautiful. Very pretty indeed, as long as it's viewed through a window with a fireplace blazing away filling the room with enough heat to make you sweat.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Imaging for Health

A small electric wheenchair with padded cushions and a roho seat pad.
Electric Wheelchair with Roho Cushion
In the past 10 years, I've had a lot of opportunity to get images from hospitals and of medical equipment, mostly because my husband has had a variety of health issues. The problem is, when you are in the thick of some sort of health emergency (whether a loved one or yourself), the last thing you think of as you follow the ambulance guys out of the house is grabbing a camera to snap photos.

Seriously ... it hasn't been something that even entered my head. At least not until after the the immediate emergency was dealt with. He's been through quite a lot; 2 heart surgeries, a heart attack (from a blood clot after one of the surgeries), a hip replacement, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a back surgery (after being wheelchair bound for a year), spinal surgery in his neck (after being unable to move his upper body), several years of physio, skin cancer, and now, diabetes.

You wonder how a person can go through so much and still keep on going. But he does. The thing is, all of those hospitalizations would have been the perfect time to grab health related photos, but ... did I? Not so much.

I did manage a few, but mostly you spend your time in the hospital (and there was a lot) with the person, or running errands back and forth for them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Christmas and Holiday Decor

Large green Christmas tree decorated with silver garlands and mirrored ornaments and pretty white lights.
Green and White Tree
Christmas is coming, right? Yeah I know, being the 30th of October I know it's not really even Hallowee'n yet, but people start early when getting ready for Christmas, whether it's early blog posts they need a quick image for, or whether it's images for use on their home made gift tags, people start preparing way ahead of Christmas.

These images can be used for all of those Christmas related things ... gift tags, your own greeting cards, blog posts, table-seating cards and even used in papier mache wrapped christmas balls to hang on your tree. Whatever you can create from paper or card stock, and I suppose if you really wanted you could print one up on iron-on transfer paper and make yourself an ugly Christmas sweater.

Most of the images of objects are items either I, or one of the family have (or still) owned over the years. My favourite things are my village pieces (right now about 60 or so), but I also love Hallmark's singing snowmen items. Then of course, there are the elves :)   The Christmas tree is one I don't own any longer. The older I get, the less I want to deal with a huge tree and all the ornaments. After our kids grew up, I was the one who had to decorate the tree, usually alone. With kids, it's a fun job but alone ... not so much. While it looks pretty, it's also one of the most time-consuming jobs for me, and I'm sort of done with it.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

A Little Mix-up

Usually I try to post up images in categories but today it's a bit of a mash-up. Partly because instead of just posting all the images from my old site, I'm trying to create new ones. Normally I have lots of time for this kind of thing but at the moment, I've got 3 new sites to update (one for my husband), and all of them need images, even if they are different sites.

You can't just use a bunch of the same images on each site, so that's taking time. Plus, it's close to the end of October, and nearly time to start the Christmas baking (I usually start early November and bake almost daily right up til Christmas).

Anyway, in no particular order, here's a batch of images you can use.

Two stuffed cows holding blank signs.
Sign Cows

Monday, October 22, 2018

Blue and Whites

Several pieces of blue delft pottery; candle holders, an egg cup, a trinket box, salt and pepper, and a windmill.
When I was growing up, my aunt's kitchen always caught my interest. She was a very big fan of Blue Delft, particularly anything in blue and white with a dutch theme. Her dinnerware wasn't Delft, but her kitchen accessories were blue and white, and her kitchen cupboards and furniture were white, but the curtains in her windows had blue and white curtains in a fabric that looked like tiles, with a Dutch girl and boy, and windmills.

And so did the floor ... she had bought these tremendously expensive Delft floor tiles and with a top finish on them was so shiny that it looked that a poured resin top. They were slippery as heck, and you could slide around in your sock feet as if you were on a skating rink.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Happy Halloween ... Just a Little Early

The first thing I've got today is a little Halloween graphic you can use on your site, or your FB page even in your email if you want.

An autumn floral scene with pumpkins and a poster design for Halloween.

And the next is a life-thought. So many people waste time. Some say all we have is time, but the truth is, nobody really knows how much time they have.

A life-thought quote about how we spend our time.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Celebrate Autumn with Landscapes

A pretty farm yard in fall.
I already published some fall landscapes (around the middle of September), but I have a LOT of fall landscapes. I love the brilliant colours and just the glory of the view when the season changes. Every season has it's own beauty, and although I really hate the cold winter months, there are times when the beauty of a fresh snowfall cannot be ignored! I'll publish some of those as the season gets closer, but for now, it's still fall and the world here is still full of it's autumn clothing.

All it takes to lose that is a heavy rainfall and lots of wind, and that happen so quickly here. The fall has been so much drearier than usual - overcast skies for weeks on end, colder than normal temperatures and just a general misery that after a couple of steady weeks of that, you begin to feel a malaise that makes you wish it were over.

What you need at that point is just one day - only a single day of wonderful, brilliant sunshine, a camera, a car, and a good healthy walk around the country roads. Here, doing that is pretty easy since we're less than 5 minutes from all that delicious countryside. One of my favourite things to do in the fall is visit the wildlife sanctuary - here, it is mostly varieties of birds and fowl (like ducks, and swans), but if you're really lucky you can catch a snake warming itself on a rock in the late season sun, or a turtle that's yet to dig into the mud for the winter sleep.

Sometimes you'll find a hare or jackrabbit (hard to chase those), and lots of chipmunks and squirrels still gathering their winter stock.