Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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I’m not old

Katie here.

I’ve got it mama!

One evening this week I was moving from the floor onto one of my beds in the living room and as I settled in mama told daddy I looked old.

Really mama?!

Almost got that one!

I was sleeping! And I decided to get more comfortable. I wasn’t even really awake, not looking my best, not figuring I had to impress anyone. Besides, who’s calling who old anyway!

Throw it again mama!

And let me remind you that you and I played a rousing game of snowball out in the backyard that afternoon. Isn’t it possible that I was just tired from all the extra leaping and spinning and running in the snow? Did you think of that?

I’m a snow ninja!

I thought not.

Let me check out that snowball mama!

So before you go and start talking about how old I am and how you’re worried about me and stuff, just remember I have proof cause daddy took photos. You wanted to go inside before I did.

I was THIS close!

Just saying.

Mama. Geeze.

Got it!


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Photography makes me fat

I admit, the title of this post wormed it’s way into my brain during sleep last night. It made perfect sense then, but it’s less clear in today’s snowy morning light.

I weighed myself yesterday because my knees, hip and legs ache most of the day and night. I particularly notice my knees when I’m carrying the dog, an extra twenty pounds on top of my own extra poundage.

Snow is on the way.

In my sleep I analyzed the situation. I rarely take long walks anymore. When I do walk, even on short neighborhood strolls, I almost always have a camera, though sometimes it’s just my phone. There is always something to stop and take a picture of.

Always.

So the walk turns into a photo shoot. Very few calories are expended while leaning over a mushroom or shooting up into trees.

Let’s go for a walk before it snows more mama!

I wear my Fitbit and religiously note the dismal number of daily steps. Even knowing I’m barely moving doesn’t get me off the sofa. It’s just so warm and snugly there. And here comes winter in full force. Record breaking cold is on the way. More snow. Little sunlight. The odds or me taking more steps slips lower.

But! We have a perfectly good elliptical in the basement. It’s been there for years and I’ve used it twice. It’s hard. It’s boring. But I have no excuse, something has to change, probably more than one something.

Darn. Change is hard.

Don’t stop visiting us lady!


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Photo Challenge: Contrasting colors

Most of you are aware of the color wheel, and that contrasting colors, opposite each other on that wheel, ‘go together.’ You know, blue and orange, yellow and purple, red and green.

Red and green? What could that be, for me, except barns!

I had several in my archives, red barns with green roofs, red barns in green fields. And then I found this one.

Red and green, and it’s not Christmas!

A red truck next to a red barn under a green tree.

Perfect.

Red barn, green roof.


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Can’t help but smile

Trent hosts a weekly post soliciting smiles. Since I believe we could all use a smile, I try to participate. This past week I’ve had lots and lots to smile about, much of which’ve blogged about and includes a cold Great Lake and snow and ice.

Can you see the birds hidden among all that fruit?

But this morning back at home the dog wanted to go out, a much less glamorous event than shooting a lighthouse glowing in the morning light. Plus it’s cold here, 10 F (-12.22 C) with a brisk wind. I wasn’t eager to traipse around in the yard.

I usually catch their yellow bellies, or the red tips to their wings…

After I bundled up we headed out to do her job. I was urging her to hurry, she was dawdling as usual. Then I heard it. The sound of a bunch of birds somewhere behind me.

I turned my head and saw a flash of yellow in our crab-apple tree. And a distinctive shape.

…but for me the defining bit of a cedar waxwing is the yellow strip along the tail. (Thank you Mr. Waxwing for showing us your colors!)

I grabbed the dog up in my arms and ran for the house and my camera. I had to change lenses. The dog was mystified. Racing back outside I told the dog to “STAY!” on the porch and I crept closer to the tree.

See the red tips at the end of the wings?

I was in such a hurry I didn’t consider my depth of field, and I have many blurry shots of nothing in particular. And even the ‘good’ images aren’t sharp, but the slightly blurry edges adds to the magic of the moment. Or so I’m telling myself.

Hungry in this cold weather, they stopped on their travels to visit my buffet.

Cedar waxwings fly through here as they migrate. I only see them once or twice a year, if at all, and those times it’s only a singular event. They don’t hang around. If the dog hadn’t decided she wanted to go out, if she had continued her nap, I never would have seen these.

So…that’s what made me smile today!

Hard to see even when I crop the image!


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Coasting down Michigan’s western shore

Last Sunday a friend and I drove north and west to see Point Betsie with it’s lighthouse in winter. We were hoping to see some waves and some ice, and we saw a bit of each.

Taken by my friend, look how she caught that wave action!

On Monday we meandered under a blue sky down the western coast of Michigan, enjoying the shore and beaches at several parks along the way.

Lake fog danced on the relatively warm water in the single digit air temperatures.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to show you some of the beautiful sights we saw. There are so many it’s hard to choose what to share.

The view was worth the climb!

We stopped across the river from Frankfort early in the day and admired their tugboats…

Tugboats waiting for spring.

…and the lighthouse against the dark sky.

The white buildings pop against the darkening sky.

Then we drove up to a bluff overlooking the harbor and the sun came out. I was a bit scared to drive up the steep, snow covered road, but the view was absolutely worth it.

From up on the bluff.

The early light made the lighthouse glow out there in the blue lake.

Further down the coast Ludington’s shoreline held lots of lovely sights. Even with all the wonderful white snow and blue water, this was one of my favorite shots:

Shadows mimic fence.

And this, the ice on the railing, deserves some attention too.

Ice interest.

So many pretty things to see, I put together a little slide show.

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Our last stop was Muskegon State Park where the views weren’t as stunning, but still very interesting.

A lonely tree on a lonely beach.

We had such a fun time wandering the coast of Michigan even though we didn’t get it all done. That just means we have something to anticipate some weekend when the sun shines and the lake glows.

Oh, and just for me, we stopped along the way for a photo of a barn.

Every road trip needs at least one barn.

I’m looking forward to our continued adventure. It’s nice when you can make something out of a cold winter weekend in the north.

Colors out of this world.


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Check it off the stupendous list

Visiting Point Betsie during the winter is on my list of stupendous things to do in 2019.

Tucked into the sand dunes along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Today I had the opportunity to do just that — and it was beautiful.

At home we had snow yesterday, the most we’ve had in one day so far this winter season, so a trip across the state was in question.

The path down to the beach shows the first glimpse of the turquoise lake.

But by this morning the falling snow had stopped and the sun made it glitter as a friend and I took the chance and drove across the state toward Lake Michigan and Point Betsie, a little over four hours away.

The wind was flinging waves over the breakers.

Though there was little new snow falling, the wind was brisk, and the temperatures were in the single digits. I don’t even want to think about about the wind chill.

The sun tried to break through but ultimately lost out to the clouds.

Trust me it was cold. I could barely get the car door open once we arrived at the lighthouse. We sprinted down to the shore – the lake was it’s typical turquoise.

The lighthouse was beautiful, but the ice coating the land around it prohibited us from exploring too close. That and the chilling wind howling off the lake.

The view looking south, away from the lighthouse, was stunning too.

To the south the light was diffused, the colors muted.

We stayed on the beach for only a few minutes before we ran back to the car, fingers frozen.

My friend heading back to the car, I was right behind her!

Was it worth it to drive over four hours to spend less than 10 minutes enjoying the view.

You bet it was!

Safe and sound at the hotel.


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An arty evening

Our instructor in the beautifully painted art room.

Last fall I was looking for a local acrylic painting class and I stumbled across something called art journaling. That particular month the description included instructions for people to bring their favorite pair of old shoes to class.

I, not knowing what art journaling was, found the request for shoes intriguing.

I emailed the instructor and asked if she planned on having the participants walking or jogging or perhaps doing calisthenics while doing some sort of art project? She replied with a lot of lols.

No, the participants would be drawing their shoes and embellishing them with bits of paper or scraps of poems, maybe photographs, to describe memories or events that made these their favorite shoes.

Arranging bits of my holiday.

They do this in a journal, and month after month they meet to create different projects, explore different memories, all the while making art.

Well that sounded fun.

So I went, way back in September to one session and had a good time, and then travel and other life events interfered and I missed the next meeting. And then the holidays hit and I accidentally fell asleep the evening of the November session.

A little bit of Christmas.

So here it is January, and we met again, this time having collected bits of paper that reflected our lives. During the class we tore that paper up, doodled on it and glued it all back together again.

Well hello Dolly!

These photos were taken in bad light with my phone, but you get the idea. The whole two page collage represents what I did during the holidays. I saw the musical Dolly, I volunteered with Little Brothers at Thanksgiving, I wrapped gifts for Christmas.

It’s not great art, but it’s fun art and very relaxing. Plus the other women there are all funny, smart, welcoming and happy.

The finished project.

Just the perfect way to spend a dark winter evening in the middle of January.

Detail of the art on the wall.