Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sunsets in Winter

 This is just a zoomed in shot from my kitchen window of a bunch of birds in the trees one cold winter day this past weekend. I thought they looked kind of cool.  Literally. It was about 10 degrees. Brrrr.
Today, when I left work and looked left to leave the parking lot, this glowing red hill was so spectacular, I just had to turn around and go back INTO the parking lot, dig out my camera and take a picture of it. Everything else was just gray and dreary, but this red hill to our east was positively aglow with the rays from the setting sun.

 And all around, at that same level, the hills were just glowing--but not the ones behind them!

 And then I came home and had hot cocoa for dinner. Because I could. (Mike's still gone.)  You will be happy to know that I had a good, hearty lunch with my friend, Janet. I had her join me in finishing off the leftover taco soup and cornbread from Sunday dinner, and we had a nice long visit during my extra long lunch hour (because I forgot to take a lunch break yesterday!).
 And here is the last of the glowing sky at sunset from this evening. I've seen far more spectacular ones, but it was just a nice ending to a nice day at work. And now I have FOUR days off!  Yay!

After Christmas with Nick, Kaylee and Rachel!

 Nick, Kaylee and Rachel came to Cedar City the day after Christmas, on Saturday the 26th.  Rachel immediately liked the jingle bells on the bottom of the Christmas tree and decided they made great bracelets!  They had dinner with friends that night.
 In the afternoon, Grandma Liebhardt came over to see them.

 Rachel enjoyed spinning her Mom around on the kitchen stool, so then Kaylee spun  her around!

 Rachel also enjoyed the rocking chair. She is so daring!
 Oh, and she climbs!  FAST!  When she goes, she really GOES. ha.

 Eating Cheerios is very serious business when you only have front teeth
 (5, with one more on the way)

 And playing with magnets on the fridge is very serious business, too!  We have lots of them.

 Cooking with Grandma is also very serious business.

It was so fun to have them come for a few days.  We went to Church together on Sunday, had dinner with Grandma Liebhardt that evening.  Nick, Kaylee, and Rachel and I went out to breakfast on Monday morning, then I stayed with Rachel while they did a little after-Christmas shopping.  Nick made dinner for us on Monday night.  Tuesday, they headed home after breakfast. Thanks for coming, kids!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Winter Wonderland

 I saw these cute little guys along the back fence.  Oops, I forgot to clean out the flower bed in the fall. I'm telling you, I just totally did NOT do any yard work in our back yard this year.
 These are the seed pods of the purple cone flower (echinacea) and they are wearing these cute little snow caps.

 Brrrr. And the diamond block that borders our wanna-be garden kind of have the look of marshmallows today.
 Another Oops. I forgot to put away the hammock this fall. It's full of a wanna-be snow man.

 And, in the front yard we have more diamond block. I've been thinking that we should string some Christmas lights out there, and the garlands of snow just emphasize how right that would be!  Isn't that pretty?  Imagine it at night, with colored lights beneath the snow.  That's one of the prettiest things about winter--lights under the snow.  We didn't even put any lights around our windows this year.  But the tree looks nice. Eric had the house decorated for Christmas when I came home from Guam on Dec 9.  It was a very nice surprise!

(White) Christmas, 2015

 It was definitely the most different Christmas I have ever had!  But there was snow. And lots of it. I shoveled off a LOT of snow, and it just kept coming down. I took the left-over quiche to Berenice's house and we had breakfast together before opening her gifts. I wore my gift over there. Mike and I exchanged gifts before he left for Wisconsin last Saturday. I got a lovely ring and poor Mike got books from me.  Seems a little lop-sided, doesn't it?
 Here's me in my Santa hat. That snow just kept coming and coming down! My hair was all frosted, the hat and my coat even got wet.  However, considering how much snow I moved  from Berenice's driveway (twice), I really wasn't all that sore on Christmas night!  And, my feet stayed nice and toasty warm. Wish I would have been wearing some over-pants, rather than just some jeans, as my legs got a little chilly.

Oh, I heard this snow storm blowing in on Christmas Eve. I was all nestled and snuggled in bed, trying to get to sleep--you know how hard it is to sleep on Christmas Eve! ha.  Not really. I was quite tired and had finished all the wrapping I was going to do, read a little and hunkered down under the covers.

This is what my mind did as I was drifting off to sleep: poetry. ;-)

Winter Haiku

Snuggled deep in quilts,
I heard howling wind outside.
My satisfied sigh.

I happen to love snow. We live in a desert and it's our water source. BUT, it's also quite pretty. In my normal life, I don't have to deal with it much. I don't have to work in it. I choose not to play in it. So I can just sit tight in my cozy home (or pleasant work place) and watch it come down.  My chauffeur will usually take me to work and pick me up; he also shovels the walks and keeps my vehicles inside the garage. It's a win-win for me. (Yes, I'm a bit spoiled.)

I was a bit tempted on Friday to go out and play in that stuff.  Others thought the same and they DID. The hills around town on Christmas Day and the day after have been full of sledders. How fun. Makes my back hurt to think about bumping down a hill on a cold, hard piece of plastic at breakneck speed on my bottom. But it was tempting for just a little bit. A very little bit.

In the afternoon, Mom L and I headed over to Doug and Diane Gardiner's house for dinner.  Doug is Mike's nephew.  Two of their four children were there. Below: Doug, Brooke, Diane, Mom L.

That night I just worked on Christmas cards--addressing, stuffing envelopes, etc. I am still short. For some reason the list has grown quite long, but that's OK. We really enjoy receiving Christmas cards this time of year.  These won't go out until I can get to the Post Office on Monday and buy a roll of stamps, but it'll still be before New Year's, so that's good enough for me!

Merry Christmas!!
 Well, shoot! I found a few more pictures! Berenice opening up presents Christmas morning.
The remains of the pie I (made and ) took to our Chrisrmas dinner with Doug and Diane.

And here are some of the decorations at my house, courtesy of Eric. He got all the important stuff . I neglected to photograph the nativity scene. The lighting was bad, then I got distracted. 

 But here is my cute tree collection.
 We have quite the little gathering of snowmen.
 The tree. It even looks swell in the re-decorated stage.
 Mantle pieces.
 And here's mynsweet little After Christmas treat! Nick and Kaylee got here on Saturday afternoon. I have more pictures on my camera I will  add later.

 Talking on the phone with kids.