Mr and Mrs Pigeon

Don't you think that pigeons are sort of stereotyped? Just these birds that hang out in crowds on statues and poop all over them? Of course, there was the pigeon lady in Home Alone 2. She didn't give the pigeons a bad name at all. She was their friend and they even helped Kevin. But for the most part, I don't think people have much of an affinity towards pigeons. I was pretty much part of that group, too. Until Mr. & Mrs. Pigeon decided that living on our miniature tree farm (just kidding - we just have a LOT of trees on our property) was a good idea.

I saw them around, hanging out in one of the pine trees most of the time. You'd think I'd know what kind of trees I have and I do for some of them. But we have 22 trees and without knowing how to identify them to begin with, what's a girl to do? So there are a variety of evergreens, but I mostly call them all pine trees. Until I know better, anyway.

So back to Mr. & Mrs. P. I'd see them hanging around and since they're the only two pigeons I've ever seen here, I figured it had to be the same couple. That was all fine and well, as we have numerous birds here (see first paragraph - a LOT of trees). But a couple of weeks ago, I saw something going on outside my window. The view is fairly well-blocked by pine tree branches and needles, but I finally figured out what was up.

Nest building. Mr. & Mrs. are preparing for an addition to the family. Or maybe additionS. I don't really know. Do pigeons hatch one baby at a time or multiples? Anyone know about that? I suppose Google might send me in the right direction. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

So I grabbed the camera (of course) and watched as Mr. P would go find a proper twig or other piece of nest building material and fly up to their branch, walk/hop out to the nest location, and hand it off to Mrs P. Then he'd turn around and walk/hop back to the inner portion of the branch. Flit down to one of two lower branches, then fly down to the ground to retrieve the next piece of nest building material. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Yes, it's true. I stood there watching a pigeon get one piece of material at a time and repeat the same sequence over and over and over again. And then I wonder where my day has gone and why I didn't accomplish more.

I wish I could see their nest a little better. But I also don't want to give away their special location to any possible predators. Like ravens. Or squirrels. Do ravens or squirrels bother pigeons? I guess that's another thing to Google.

Maybe if I stand on a chair where I can look out from the top of the window, I can see their nest. I'll try that later. In the meantime, here are some shots I got that day.

Hi, there, Mr Pigeon!


That one looks pretty good.


Here you go, Mrs. P.


Time for a little break.


Back to work.



Cute Little Pocket Book - Tutorial

Sometime around December of 2009, Lucy and I did a Make & Take at Archiver's while we there cropping one Friday night. It was a cute little book with pockets in it made out of a piece of 12x12" cardstock. I made one for my sister to use as a gift for someone she worked with. I proceeded to post a few pictures and tell about the book, but not how to make it. You can see it here. My dear friend, Michelle, said she'd like the instructions because it would be fun to put prayers in the pockets and give it to someone. I probably said I'd be happy to share my newly-learned directions with her.

But I never did.


I did, however, keep the email containing her comment asking for instructions. All this time. Since 12/21/09.

Sorry, Michelle. What a major procrastinator I am!

And I am happy to report that now, nearly four and a half years later, I'm finally posting the instructions. For Michelle. Or anyone else who'd like them.

1. Start with a 12x12" sheet of double-sided cardstock. Not patterned paper, but cardstock (I just don't think paper would hold up all that well, but you could try it).

2. Cut it in half. Either direction. Ha! Ha!


3. Score each half at 2" the long way. Figure out which side you want to be inside and which will be the outside. Fold on the score line the appropriate way. This forms the pockets.


4. Now score each half on the back side at the center (6").


5. Score at 3" in from each end on the opposite side.


5. Fold it back and forth, accordian style, as shown in the picture.


6. Using a very narrow adhesive, adhere the outside open edges on each half to close the pockets. If your adhesive is very wide, it takes up pocket space. I love this adhesive because it's only 1/8" wide and it does a great job of holding things together.



7. Adhere the two sections together at the center. Yes, I know, my outside edges aren't yet adhered in the picture. I did this in reverse order on these two steps when I made it.


Now it's one long accordion with a slightly thicker center where the two pieces are adhered to each other.


8. From a scrap of coordinating cardstock, cut a piece 2x4" Score at about 3/4" in from the long edges on both sides. Fold. This will form the spine. You can also tear the edges or use decorate scissors or sponge ink onto them for a different look.


9. Put adhesive on the two sides of the spine, but not in the center strip. Align book inside the spine and attach together.


10. Determine desired length of ribbon to wrap around the book and tie in a bow. Center over the spine and adhere (glue dot or adhesive) on the front at a minimum. You can also add adhesive on the spine and/or the back as you want. Another variation would be to put the ribbon underneath the spine. In my finished product, the ribbon is on the outside, although you'll see me attaching it to the front before the spine went on. How I made it and how I'm writing the instructions are a little out of order.


11. Attach decorative die-cut or sticker or whatever other bling you'd like to add to the front over the top of the ribbon.


12. Put stuff in the pockets - gift cards, money, notes, gum, miniature Flat Stanley and family, or whatever else you can come up with. Tie it closed with a bow. Or knot.





13. Clean up the mess that is your desk. Or maybe that's just me. In all fairness, I did another project before this one, which would be why it's super extra messy. Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Actually, now that I look at that mess, it's from the other project, not this one at all. Oh well. The messier the desk, the more creative. That's my motto and I'm definitely sticking to that one.


If you have any questions or anything doesn't make sense, let me know. Enjoy!!


Blogging Versus Facebook

Once upon a time, I used to blog regularly. More or less. Then my friends all started jumping on the Facebook bandwagon. I eventually joined in the party. Which was fine for awhile. I was already well immersed in Twitter by then. But a funny thing happened along the way. The more time I spent on FB, the less I blogged. Pretty soon, it was only Wordless Wednesday images being posted. But then before long, that fell by the wayside, too. Then it was merely lamenting over the reality that I could barely manage a post or two in a month. IF that.

I've made it back to the blogosphere a couple of times. I've written a few posts. In a row, even. But I never quite get back to any sort of consistency there. Though I sure manage to scroll through update after update after update in my FB newsfeed.

Today I started looking at other blogs in my list over there on the right. One that I used to read (the second blog I frequented regularly ever) has gone private. So I removed her from the list. Another's blog is apparently gone. Which makes me a little sad. I liked what she wrote. I'm still connected with her via Instagram, FB, and Words With Friends. But still. Then I got to another blog which was always fun to read. Sometimes hilariously funny. She's still there. She's still blogging. And it made me very happy. I read her story about her father who passed away last year. Being that she's a very gifted story teller, it was a sweet and touching post. As if I were reading a novel. I really enjoyed it a lot. I also read about her son who is now 10. He was 6 when I first started reading her blog (I think). No, maybe he was 4. He wasn't in school yet, so it must've been 4 in the beginning and 6 later (cause that's how our chronological time works, no?).

And I think that's when it clicked. Facebook is like being at a big, huge party with lots and lots of people. Some you know from work, some from your childhood, some from church, some from your kids' school, and so on. You get to chat a little bit with a lot of people. Surface conversations. Good times for an extrovert (like me). But only for awhile. You don't really know anyone with those sound bites.

Blogging and reading other bloggers gives you more than 30 seconds to hear what's going in their lives and make a comment. You actually get to read more of their story. You get to know them much more than the jokes and articles they share. While I love the party, I'm really missing the move engaging venue of blogging. I've gone through my entire list blog friends and some are still there, some have left completely, and some blog only occasionally or haven't blogged in a couple of years. I've also found a couple of new blogs that I look forward to reading regularly. I know it won't be the same as it was. But I still want to go back. A little like going back to that small Nebraska town where we would visit my Grandma. Life was slower and calmer and different.

I've taken breaks from Facebook before, but I think the goal now is to minimize my time there. I don't see me leaving it entirely. At least not at this point. I'll pop into the party on occasion, I'm sure. But I'm eagerly anticipating my new adventures in blogging (again).

This is exciting to me, too. Another new beginning. My alium bulbs are sprouting and growing daily. And I can't post without a picture anyway.



Bubbles, Bubbles

For some reason, my boys don't really want to blow bubbles for me to photograph any more.

caleb profile bw sm

Maybe it's because they're 20 (above) and almost 19 (below).

zach profile bw sm

I suppose that's a good possibility. LOL!

Fortunately, at 9 years old, my niece still enjoys bubble blowing. She's pretty good at it, too.

mrs bubbles-1sm


mrs bubbles-2sm

This has always been one of her favorite things to do with me.

mrs bubbles-3sm

I sure could've used her the other day when I was trying to blow bubbles in the cold so they would freeze. It was a little challenging to blow them, set down the wet, drippy wand, get the camera up (after wiping my hand on my jeans), compose, focus, and get a shot before they popped. But I still got some.

silver bubble

bubble jeep

frozen bubble-1sm

frozen bubble-2sm]

frozen bubble-3sm

Good times all the way around.


Less is More, Revisited

So, I sort of fell off the wagon with my decluttering efforts. Part of the issue is akin to the stars aligning for something spectacular. In my case, the following has to happen:

  1. I have to be motivated to purge
  2. I have to have a chunk of time available
  3. I have to make a decision about what area I will purge
  4. I have to not be hormonal.

That last one probably doesn't count. If I am hormonal, #1 will be but a distant memory, at best.

When the first three align nicely, I'm then able to tackle the clutter in my house. But it can take awhile. Like waiting for Halley's Comet to come back into visibility. Well, maybe it's not quite that bad. Which is a good thing, otherwise, there'd never be anything getting out of this house.

I had thought awhile back that perhaps I should just start at the front door and work my way through the house. And since the top three were in alignment today, that meant tackling the coat closet. After I cleaned up the entry area. I must say, I have a lot of coats.

coat closet before-1

coat closet before-2

Well, I did just say it. I think I cut that down by half. I still probably have more than I truly need, but it's the best I can do right now. And the closet isn't jam-packed any longer. Not only that, there's a floor in there. Who knew? I think I saw it once, about five and a half years ago. Oh yeah, when we looked at the house before we bought it; that's when I saw that floor.

The paraffin bath has been living out in the open since I got it for Christmas. Sometimes I dip my hands every day, so I want it to be easily available. This works. The vacuum has always lived in there, but sometimes it was a little challenging to put it away. Ditto with the boots. But there's still open floor space. Whee!

coat closet after-2

The coats on the right of the empty hangers are what I kept. Not bad.

coat closet after-1

You never know what you might find when you clean out a closet. Like a whiteboard with chemistry stuff still written on it.

coat closet during-1

I actually think it's a good thing that I have coats (and gloves) to get rid of, being that it's winter and all. Mom and my sister get first dibs on the coats, but then I'm going to donate them some place. Or just go give them to homeless people. Or something like that. Winter in Colorado (especially right now with the snow) can be tough. Particularly for someone living in too much of the elements. Or just someone without the means to buy a coat or gloves. Anyway, I want them to go to someone who needs them.

So there you have it - a tidy closet (John still has to sort through his coats, but they're tidy and less abundant than mine were). I think the buffet will be next.


Don't Be a Lemming

Sometimes we over-informed, suffer from short attention spans, and super eager to be a part of things. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, as we.....er, I begin a new year (Hello, 2014, you arrived far too early!), I realize how SO many things sound like fun and that I should join in said fun.

  • A friend posts her first image of 2014, tags it 1/365, and I immediately think, "Hey, I should do that!"
  • I get an invitation to the One Little Word class for 2014 and I'm ready to register.
  • Someone else shares their new Read the Bible in a Year plan and I start thinking about which plan I'd like to do this year.
But here's the thing. Or maybe two.

1. I can't do everything that sounds like fun. Oh, I can try, and often do, but it leads to being overwhelmed, frustrated, and eventually disappointed in myself for falling behind. At least most of the time it does.

2. Just because my friends, the "cool kids," or whoever else is doing it, doesn't mean I need to (I sound so parental!). Their journey isn't the same as mine. We may cross paths occasionally or even walk the same road for a time, but I don't have to follow them everywhere.

What I really need to do is stop and think about it. (Anyone else cue over to Aretha Franklin in the Blues Brothers at that moment? Or was that just me, too?) Is this something that I truly desire to do for myself? Is it something that can fit into my life? Am I already committed to another project that may be quite similar?

And how about this?

Could I just enjoy the projects that other people do without always feeling the need to do it myself, too? Read their posts, look at their images, listen to what they have to say. Then encourage them in their pursuits. Pretty simple, really. No pressure on me. And then join in only on the things that really have some sort of value to me.

I've already committed to a few such projects and I think I need to stop right there.

Before diving off the cliff.

Happy New Year!

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