Posted in an appreciative life, good stuff, in the great outdoors, out and about, thru the lens

today’s little happies…

*Sleeping with the window open and enjoying those crisp low 50s temps.

*Feeling productive by getting loads of school prep done today.

*Loading up photos from our walk at High Acres Natural Area yesterday.

*Chatting about other perspectives with a dear friend. So nice to have that implicit safety of disagreeing and learning with someone you trust.

*Having one of my favorite meals for supper tonight–mac and cheese bake, broccoli, and cantaloupe slices.

*Not having a single bout of nausea today. *knocks on wood*

*Anticipating finishing up Stranger Things with Rich this evening.

Posted in an appreciative life, good stuff, in the great outdoors, thru the lens

life is good, life is good, life is good…

on repeat…ad infinitum…or at least until it crowds out the other crap trying to control my mood. It’s not that I don’t think it’s okay to give the not-so-good stuff space, but I’m letting it take over more often than I’d like. Some pretty major financial worries, some stupid health issues, and the overwhelmed feeling that always comes as the school year is about to start–it’s not that I want to ignore them. It’s that I don’t want to allow them to create this weight that then darkens my whole attitude, that leaves me feeling cranky, that causes me to turn the small stuff like ruined plans or a splattered mirror after just cleaning the bathroom into matters worth crying or cursing over. Because you know what, LIFE IS GOOD. And the damn laundry is going to wait to be hung until I’ve made a list of the stuff that deserves my attention. The good stuff.

*The spectacular weather the last few days. Perfection. Utter perfection.

*This sweet little goldfinch in the coffee shop parking lot the other day. I must have sat watching him for close to ten minutes. He was just so intent on getting every last seed from this coneflower.


*Max finishing his summer homework with days to spare. Getting him to do homework during the school year is bad enough, so I wasn’t looking forward to battles that might ensue having to do so much over summer. I frankly think what they assigned was overkill (not just reading a decent sized book, but a big writing assignment to go with it, plus a big packet of other miscellaneous assignments)…I mean I thought it was supposed to be summer break. Ah, but welcome to high school, I guess. And the point is Max not only did it all with little complaint, he put in more than his typical “as little effort as possible” to get by. Proud of him.

*The beauty of dead flowers.


*All things RIP. I ended up making a book pool after all. It’s excessive. As usual. Just the way I love it. And this picture doesn’t include the next-in-the-series Marti McAlister book I ordered from PaperbackSwap or the handful of holds I put in at the library. Yes, excess is the way to go when it comes to RIP.


*I’ve hit the point where I’m eager for autumn’s arrival. I love all the seasons, and tend to have a hard time letting go of the current one. That is, until something clicks and I find myself ready to revel in all the wonderful things of the season to come. That something clicked, and I am so happy to be welcoming the early signs of autumn. Goldenrod and turning leaves and shorter daylight hours…

*Listening to Annie’s and Gray’s shared laughter as they watched videos on YouTube last night.

*The wondrous colors of sunsets.


Yes, I am blessed. And life is good.




Posted in an appreciative life, good stuff, out and about, thru the lens

one of those days…

Turning Point Park.

Not “one of those days” in the negative sense. But one of those positively delightful days. One of those days where joy and contentment permeate every cell in the body. One of those days that catch you completely off guard and surprise you with the wonderfulness that life can hold.

My sweetie.

When I found out that I didn’t have to report on Monday for jury duty, Rich and I decided to conquer another section of the Genesee River Trail. We were to the portion that we’ve been most excited about exploring, Turning Point Park. In a summer that has been ridiculously hot, we lucked out with the most gloriously perfect weather, with highs in the low 70s. And the breeze along the river made it seem all the more heavenly.

So very peaceful.

Gray decided to go with us, and was most excellent company. (Side note: I am so enormously grateful for modern medicine. The thyroid medicine that the pediatric endocrinologist prescribed for him, well, the word that pops to mind is miracle.)

This kid. ❤️

A lot of the photos I took are of rather poor quality. I’d say that I don’t care, but of course, I wish they’d come out better. But in the end, what I care most about is the memories I captured, not the fact that I’m not a great photographer.

Flowers of Turning Point Park:

Birds of Turning Point Park:

And more wildlife:

And other stuff:

If only every day could be so perfect. 😊




Posted in in the craft room, thru the lens

a week in the life, day one…

witlI honestly had no intention of starting to put together my album until the week was over. But it was one “how about I just print those couple of pictures” here, and one “I should just type that bit of journaling” there, and before I knew it, I had half the day done and couldn’t resist just finishing it up. It’s unlikely I’ll keep this up through the week, but I’ll just share my days as I do finish them. (And hopefully I’ll be able to capture better pictures on future days; my usual glare-free spot for photographing just wasn’t so glare-free today.)

Nothing fancy. Nothing clever. Nothing new. Just some tidbits from our life. Tidbits that we’ll love looking at in the years to come.

I am so very grateful that I bought the kit from Ali’s shop. This is something I don’t usually do because I just can’t afford to, but I decided to splurge and spend my birthday money. So. Glad. I. Did. Talk about simplifying the process.

I haven’t done anything with the cover of the album yet or made a title page, but here are my day one pages:


Have always loved the look of enlarged photos in people’s albums, but rarely do it myself. And the day of the week letters in the kit are pretty much perfect for layering on top. I’ve decided to use these little day of the week stamps to sprinkle throughout for continuity. They’re another Ali product, but not from the kit. On the facing page, I’m capturing our morning routines. Each day of the week is similar in many ways, but also differ a bit depending on the day of the week. (There probably won’t be as much journaling here on future days, as I’ll likely just talk about what makes the morning routine different.)


I don’t plan to do an entire page on what we eat for each day, but I thought it good to include at least once. Not so much to show what we ate, but to show how very scattered our lives are many nights at this particular phase of life. The kit contains 7 of these cards–I just covered the days of the week up with a dymo label, which fit just perfectly, and added the journaling from the computer. Next comes the day divider (which came free when preordering the kit by a certain date). The only thing I added to the front side of it was another stamped Monday bit just for a spot of color.


On the back side of the divider, which is plain chipboard, I hope to attach a piece of “stuff” from each day. For Monday, that was a piece of the science test I made that morning, and Gray took that afternoon. On top I added the cute “hello Monday” chipboard piece that came with the kit. Then just a couple of pictures. I’m hoping to add a picture of everyday household chores to each day.


Included in the kit were 7 4×6 cards labeled “story of today,” and I decided to cover the today with another of the day-of-the-week stamps. And then have everyone tell me a mini story of their day. So simple, certainly nothing profound, but it may end up being my favorite part of the album–this little collection of tidbits. The chipboard stars are another Ali product, I think from one of her story kits, but I can’t remember for sure. The facing page is a half page, which I cut down from a larger page protector. (I’m sure you can buy them this way, but I already had plenty of the four-pocket ones, so I used them.) I hope to capture a screen shot of the weather forecast each day.


And finally, on the back side of the half-page, a record of my reading for the day (because this is Bout of Books 16). And then ending the day with another enlarged photo. The embellishments are both from the kit.

In a sense, this is a really hard project; it takes dedication for sure. But wow, already I can tell it’s worth it. Yep, Ali Edwards is still a goddess in my book.

Posted in at the writing desk, down the hatch, thru the lens

another mish-mash update…

33. Drink 100 different beers.


I wish I’d remembered to take pictures of all of these, just for completeness sake, but I suppose it’s not really a big deal. Anyway, four different beers down so far, all but one I’ve had before. And every one was enjoyed. 🙂

*Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel (this is the one I had for the first time)

*Smuttynose Brewing Company Hayseed

*Great Lakes Brewing Company Burning River (one of my very favorite beers)

*Baxter Brewing Co. Pamola Xtra Pale Ale



42. Take photos of 100 different wild animals.


A lady cardinal. The guys seem to get all the glory with their beautiful bright reds, but I think the ladies are every bit as beautiful. (Even if I didn’t do a great job of capturing it.)


And the ubiquitous gray squirrel.



47. Do 100 sweet things for Rich.

Waiting 2-3 hours most weekend mornings to turn on the coffee so it’s fresh for him. Waiting that long for my first morning coffee–come on, that’s sweet!



52. Send 100 postcards.

Sent postcards out two different days since last update. To Jill and to Care. And then to Ana and to Jill and to Care.



53. Add 100 new lists to my bullet journal.


Ahh, it feels so good to have this list done. All the homeschooling prep tasks I have left to do for the rest of this school year (entire list takes up six pages).


And this one is a bit of an experiment. I wanted to see if I would do any better at getting some of the bigger jobs done (spring cleaning, for example) if I challenged myself to work on each bigger job for just 5 or 10 or 15 minutes a day. Already I’m behind, but I’m still happy to find it’s helping–after all, I likely wouldn’t have worked on many of these at all if not for this page in my journal.


Posted in at the writing desk, in the great outdoors, on the giving front, thru the lens

a few odds and ends…

38. Give away 100 boxes or bags of things to library, charity store, etc.

I am in such a “get rid of stuff” sort of mood lately. I did a quick weeding out of the big bookcase in our bedroom yesterday, and managed to fill up a fairly large box of books to take to the library. But then Annie came along and pulled out a pile to keep for herself…*sigh*…so I went back to the bookcase and forced myself to find more to get rid of to fill the box back up. And we actually managed to take the box to the library that very day.



42. Take photos of 100 different wild animals.


The garter snakes are out of hibernation! April 1st may be the earliest date I’ve ever seen a garter snake out and about. And I didn’t just see one, but three! 🙂 Sadly, this was the best photo I could manage, as I didn’t have the “real” camera with me.



52. Send 100 postcards.


Another postcard off to Jill. I am having ever so much fun with our little streak of one-word messages. 🙂