Thursday, January 18, 2018

Snowfall brought the Northern mockingbird . . . . . . . . . .

Out of the blue, and white, the Northern mockingbird arrived on the front porch 
 at breakfast today.
He stayed for a long time, more just resting than eating, but long enough
 for me to take lots of photos through the dining room window. 
Thank you sweet bird for not flying away for a long time.
This is the bird who looks so sleek until it perches and fluffs up its feathers.
It is really handsome/pretty - male and female are identical. 
I love having it in the garden.

Such a beautiful morning - snow and sunshine!
Our snowfall of yesterday brought 7" between 9 am and 6 pm.
It just kept falling into the evening dusk, bringing such quiet beauty 
to everything it touched.
Today, we continue to be housebound due to hazardous driving conditions. 
Areas around us had up to a foot of snow, but this is not a problem - in
fact I'm loving it. As it will re-freeze tonight I will probably be here for 
several days. Remember, this is the south, we're not well equipped
for snow removal!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Scribble Picnic. . . . . . Hot Chocolate

My photo edited to a sketch via PicMonkey - watercolor pencils.

HOT CHOCOLATE:  Also called hot cocoa, drinking chocolate or just cocoa,
 is a heated beverage consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate, cocoa powder,
 with heated milk or water and perhaps a little added sweetener. . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . .and so delicious, especially on a cold winter day.

Believed to have been created by the Mayans 2,500-3,000 years ago as an
essential part of Aztec culture, this beverage became popular much later in
 Europe after being introduced from Mexico.
The history of drinking chocolate is quite amazing so, if interested, be sure
 to go HERE for the entire story.

My SCRIBBLE PICNIC offering today for Michael's theme of Hot Chocolate
is the latest version I've seen for preparing a warming mug of this delicious drink,
Believe me this is the way to go but, sadly, these little gems from Germany
 discovered at our brand new LIDL store before Christmas, sold out so quickly. . . . 
I'm kicking myself for not buying a case! They have not reappeared on the shelves
 and, being a seasonal item, most likely will not return until next Christmas.

Coming two to a packet - with a choice of dark or milk chocolate - one for you
 and one for someone dear who likes to share a beverage break, perfect!
All that's necessary is to plop your stick of chocolate into your favorite mug, pour
 on hot milk and wait until it melts into a deep, dark mug of chocolatey heaven.
I'm calling these. . . . . . . 'grown up Popsicles/lollipops!"

Looking forward to seeing what chocolatey drinks our group comes up with
this week HERE - with another cold snap here I'm all for new hot chocolate drink ideas.

P.S. Don't forget, if you haven't entered my guessing game
 as to where I'm traveling to in March, there's still time.
Go HERE and leave a comment with your guess - two countries.
 There will be a little prize for the winner later!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Motivation. . . . . . . . . .

This morning:  I watched this sweet female Eastern bluebird searching the
 feeders for breakfast on yet another below freezing morning in the garden.
Her mate soon joined her, always delightful to see.
The sun is bright but the air bitter cold.

Snow is forecast for tomorrow, starting around 5:00 am which will cause
 early morning traffic havoc. Yellow school buses are likely to remain
in their parking lots, kids will don parkas and boots, fashion makeshift sleds,
 then search for a hill - which around here is usually no more than a slope.
Tonight will see a rush to the grocery stores to 'stock up' on bread,
milk, and perhaps wine and beer! Although the snowfall is expected to be light, 
and on Thursday it will warm up again and surely melt, people in the south get 
nervous at the thought of being snowbound without a stockpile of essentials. 
This is the roller coaster winter weather of the southeast states.

~ Female Eastern bluebird ~

While outside checking the firewood supply for tonight and tomorrow - we'll be
 staying close to home - filling bird feeders and melting icy bird baths, I also chased
 off five squirrels gobbling down seed and suet. This one refused to leave, playing
 'catch me if you can' on the tree branches - I gave up yelling and hand clapping
 allowing it to return to nibble for a while.

Oh, why the title of Motivation for today?

Last night I went to my first Tai Chi class!  
I roped in daughter, granddaughter, and two neighbors to join me.
 We had two hours of verbal instruction and learning the beginning
 position of this ancient Chinese exercise.
I'm planning to continue and hope the others will also. The group was
an interesting mix and the instructor pleasant. I've always wanted
to try this gentle, excellent way to get the body and mind moving.
I'm now having to admit that at this age 'gym rat' is not listed in my
 personal profile!  This way of exercising (although great for all age
 groups, and the younger you start the better) seems to be the way to go.
I need more balance and less stress so hopefully this will work for me.

Have you ever tried Tai Chi?

P.S. Don't forget, if you haven't entered my
 travel contest yet, do check yesterday's post.
  Many of you have already submitted some awesome guesses. 
There will be a little prize later for the winner when
 I return from the trip! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Where am I going next?

Time for another travel inspired guessing game. . . . . . . and I hope so
 much you will take part.
Those who have a passion for wilder places on the planet may 
already have been here, or at least know of it.
Shaped by fire and ice, this is a hauntingly beautiful, rugged land, and
I'm so excited to be heading there in March.

I'm sharing this one photo from our travel itinerary brochure. . . . . . . . and
 hopefully I'll have opportunities to be taking such photos myself when on 
the expedition.

Leave a comment on this post with your guess
 by January 22 - I'll check back here each day. 
I'll be in two countries, please try to name both.
I'll save the correct answers and draw a winning name. 
After the draw, and naming the winner, I'll add more
 details about the planned trip.

I'm hoping to find a little memento during this exciting
 trip to send to the winner after I return in April.

Come on, give it a go!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Keeping the winter garden lively. . . . . . . . . . .

It's a lovely Saturday here - cool of course but not cold. Sun is shining
and the birds are busy making the garden a bright and lively place.
Just want to share these photos of some of the visitors this past week.

~ Carolina Wren ~

~ Chickadee ~

~ Mockingbird ~

~ Cardinal ~

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
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