Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snowfall in the morning

It’s quiet here. And you know what? The old adage (from yesterday’s post) was correct. The red sky of yesterday’s morning meant some weather was coming and today I awoke to snow falling. It was just after 6 am and in my sleepy state, I thought of going to get the camera and getting some snowfall photos to use as textures but while I was thinking of it, I fell back asleep.

When I awoke just after 8, the snow had stopped. Here’s what I saw out the breakfast nook window. That shadow at the top center is a stuffed gingerbread man that my husband hung from the light fixture. I think it looks fun.

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After a cup of coffee, I changed the camera lens, bundled up and headed outside. My husband had already been out walking and he was still out there somewhere.

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After I took this photo, however, I noticed that something was wrong with the camera. My heart started to beat fast because to me, my camera is everything.

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“George,” I said. “Stand here and let me try to get this photo.” It didn’t work. I took the battery out, turned the camera off and on, and still this odd sound.

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I imagined myself losing the camera for up to a month after sending it to Nikon to have it worked on. I also imagined myself spending money I didn’t have to buy a D200. This won’t do, I thought. And besides, the camera is working in manual mode.

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I snapped a few more photos and eventually decided to use this one as a new header. I’d love to spruce up the blog somewhat, but not too much. Besides, I like subtlety when it comes to that.

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What I figured out in the end was that there was actually something wrong with the lens itself and not the camera. After coming inside and trying out the other lenses, I noticed that the autofocus on the kit lens, the 18-55 is not working properly. I think that’s what it is.

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I was thinking of doing a recap of the year, but really would rather work on a puzzle and finish the book I’m reading. It’s Time and Again, by Jack Finney. And next up is From Time to Time. Thanks again to Daryl for sending me these books. And speaking of Daryl, go to that link right now. I love today’s post, and it’s very appropriate for this time of year.

I’d like to thank all who come to visit this blog. When I began it two years ago, I had no idea how wonderful it would make me feel to be able to share my photography with those who stopped by here. I’ve made some wonderful new friends and am so thankful for that.

After I’d been blogging almost a year, I noticed that some people had “follower” widgets on their blogs, so I added one to mine as well. I see that I hit another milestone, so it’s time to have another giveaway. It will be a secret one and if you’ve read this far, here’s all you have to do to enter and what you’ll win if your number is chosen by either or my husband.


1. Answer this question: “What are you doing tonight on New Year’s Eve?”

2. Leave me a way to get in touch with you, either by leaving your e-mail address or making sure I can link to your e-mail somehow.


A standout print shipped directly from my pro lab. I love standout prints and posted about it {here}. I’ll leave this secret giveaway going until New Year’s Day at Noon (EST) and will post the winner in the early afternoon on January 1, 2010. Good luck to all!


UPDATE: Someone just wrote me to tell me that my cardinal photo was featured on The Pioneer Woman’s photography site. I added one photo to her Holiday Bokeh photo pool and was amazed at all the beautiful entries, knowing that it would be a chance in a million that she’d choose mine as one to highlight. So this is quite an honor for me. Thanks, tj for letting me know.


Unknown said...

Hi Kate, My husband and I live in Atlanta, Ga and we are going down to Savannah, GA later today to spend a nice quiet New Years Eve with some friends, the rest of the weekend we are hitting the antique shops.
Beautiful stand outs thanks for the info, maybe I will take a pic of the light house on Tybee and do the same!
my email
Happy New Year to your and yours!

Mental P Mama said...

W00t on the PW props!!! i am staying in tonight! There may be some bubbly involved....

Joe and Joanne said...

It's snowing here in Boston too. That storm is traveling up the coast! LOVE the pictures posted today and the new header.

For the contest:

I am making donuts and watching Wives and Daughters (well, part of it anyway. I don't think I or my boyfriend will last for the whole thing. I've been up too long already and it's not really his thing, bless him though, for being willing to watch it with me).

Hilary said...

Happy Milestone! You have quite the following and so well deserved.

We're celebrating with neighbours tonight. It's an easy trip home after that.. ;)

Julie Harward said...

A nice honor but honestly the PW has nothing on you...I love all your photo's and your's just real! Well, tonight me and my honey will be staying over at a bed and breakfast, going out to dinner and dancing. Tomorrow we'll be seeing some of our kids and grand kids. Yesterday we got the first new great grand baby, a little boy...we are so thrilled! Have a very HAPPY NEW glad to have connected with you! Come say hi :D

Mary said...

Oh we are such stick-in-the-muds -- we'll probably be asleep before midnight. :) Kudos on the P-Dub photo -- that's terrific!

Love your new header! I had a momentary problem once with the autofocus on my kit lens, too. Then I just took it off and reseated it, and it worked fine. Hope everything works out OK for you.

Have a wonderful New Year, my friend!

MDScaper said...

I feel embarrassed because I just started to follow your blog when I realized that you had been following mine. I have just a handful of followers; the blog is primarily to keep my family entertained and to assure them that I am staying out of trouble.

Anyway, I love your photos and I will be sure to check in once in a while.

For tonight, I am staying in. I am not a night person at all and it's just not worth it to me to stay up until midnight!!!


Marilyn said...

After a bowl of chicken soup and a little serving of chocolate mousse,that I made yesterday for the first time....and either some reading or knitting along with whatever the boob tube has on, I will probably be fast asleep at midnight. The excitement never ends...and hopefully the ICE will be gone tomorrow.

Janet said...

Hi: I don't expect to do anything but retire with a good book between fleecy sheets with a hot water bottle or two. My good friends have gone down the mountain taking my grocery list with them so when they return I may make myself some biscuits to have with my potato leek soup and maybe some chocolate cookies too for my own little celebration, while quilting lots and lots. Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year to you and all your readers! We expect the storm tomorrow sometime and by the time it's over may have 12-18 inches!
Janet in Nova Scotia (

Mattenylou said...

We're having a quiet evening, too. I'm making a pot of chili to warm us up after we go out for a long evening walk.

If we're still awake, we'll watch a bit of Dick Clark, just to see the ball drop.

Happy New Year!

Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

I'll be having a quiet evening in front of the fire with a good book and something nice to drink. Oh, and most likely it'll be lights out before midnight. I'm a very exciting person, you see.

Anonymous said...

Hi, what a nice thought.
I love the photos of your dog, as I am definitely a doggie person.
May I join your contest?
My e-mail address is:

Happy New Year!
Canadian Chickadee

tj said...

...Oh girl, I so hope you win over at Rees! :o)

...You know, it's funny 'cause just the other day I noticed that you were up to 398 followers and I thought to myself, "she's about to hit 400!"... Our Kate is growing up...*sigh*giggle* ;o)

...We are staying home. My husband may go out with some friends and I'll stay home and sew...*sigh* Did I ever tell ya we're total opposites? Yeah. I worked in the library in high school and he was the rebel in HD shirts and hangin' out in the smoking Geez, life. ;o)

...Enjoy your New Year's Eve!

...Blessings... :o)

Oh, and put me in for the contest. You have my email... :o)

J.L.S. said...

I just saw your picture on PW's site and saw that you had commented and followed the link to you. That picture is so beautiful that it took my breath away. My husband and I got married in a park in early spring 2008 just a couple of months before he deployed to Iraq for a year. After the ceremony, we noticed the tree above us was full of beautiful cardinals. It some home gave me a sense of peace about the upcoming year apart, like it was all going to be ok. For the next couple of months, there would be a cardinal that would cross my path as I walked to class or sat on the couch in the morning drinking coffee. They have sort of become my thing now. I have never seen a more beautiful picture of one. Thank you so much for sharing that!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and the subtleness of it. Keep it just the way it is! Your new header photo is beautiful! For New Year's Eve, we will be just spending a quiet time at home, maybe watch a movie or read.

Jenny said...

Your blog is lovely and simple. And I saw your photo on PW. It is also lovely. I'll be back to visit! I am your newest follower.

Char said...

I'm staying in and liking it :)

Thank you for your friendship Kate. I look forward to more in 2010.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Oh, I love secrets :) We are staying in tonight and celebrating. Not unusual for us - homebodies we are.

Love your pictures as always, and congrats on your photo being featured on PW... yay! Happy New Year, Kate. -Tammy

Kay said...

Happy New Year Kate. I will be asleep no doubt...just me and my email is

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Hi Kate. You are becoming the Giveaway Girl!

I'd like to enter this giveaway - you have my email.

My husband and I are having an intimate new year's eve just for two with stuffed shrimp and a great chardonnay for supper and champagne and munchies at midnight. Our daughter and her partner Sebastien are stopping in for a brief toast and then home to prepare for their flight to Mexico tomorrow a.m. So over-all I hope to have a quiet, somewhat reflective evening.

And you? Whatever your plans hope you have a lovely passage into the next decade.

Anonymous said...

Your header is just gorgeous!!

Daryl said...

Thank you for the shout-out

WOOT on the PW nod

As soon as it gets dark I am opening a red wine, then we'll nosh a bit on the shrimp and mini potato knishes I got at Zabars along with a SF Sourdough bread and some peanut butter chocochip cookies, I know I said I wouldn't eat another cookie this year and I intended to keep that promise but one of those cookies jumped out of the box into my mouth .. I was so startled, I swallowed!

And then there will be Prosecco being opened if ToonMan makes it to midnight, he's older then me.

I am SO glad your camera is okay .. and I love the header. I need a new one ...

Cheers! *clink* Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

Betty said...

I love your new header,but how could you not with the great George in the picture.
I hope your camera is OK.
Tonight I am going to do what I usually do,curl up with a good book some mango/darjeeling tea and be very very quiet.
E-Mail is
~~Love Hugs and Good Thoughts~~

Anonymous said...

There's just a feeling that comes over me when I see or take a photo through a window to the outdoor world. I find them to be somewhat romantic and I too snap them from time to time. Love the little gingerbread man. Looks like he's checking out the weather outside... lol

As for New Years, we will be watching old re-runs of something I suppose or perhaps watching the DVD of the first season of 'Criminal Minds' that I gave Hubby for Christmas. We will each have a glass or two of wine, clink them, do a little kiss kiss, stay awake as long as two old people can and then toddle off to bed.

We had snow last night too which was a bit unexpected. Not a lot, but enough to make the outside world pretty again.

Happy New Year to you, Kate, and to those you love.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Jo Whitehurst said...

Quiet evening at home...warm jammies, dvd player, and maybe a bottle of wine.

Congrats on being in the PW bokeh finals! Double congrats on meeting another milestone on your blog!! As others have noted, this is well deserved.

Diane said...

I'm staying in with K3. We'll probably watch a movie. If it doesn't bother her mouth, we'll drink some sparkling cider.

Not very exciting, but very rewarding to greet the new year with my little girl.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Oh, Kate, how absolutely fantastic on being featured on PW. Your photography is absolutely stunning, so it's no surprise.

I'm not doing anything this evening except cook a dinner and put on my pajamas. Have some wine and read blogs. Same as every night.

word ver: cuspons. These are clipped and presented to the cashier as an attempt to save money, but in the end they just cause a lot of frustration on those who are unorganized and forget about expiration dates, etc.

Land of shimp said...

I'm not actual here to enter the giveaway, although I wish everyone luck!

I was reading your post, and thinking that I fully agreed, you must not be without a camera. There are certain people who have a true gift when it comes to photography. You and Hilary should never, ever be without a functioning camera! The fates have decreed -- or at least I have which isn't anything nearly as powerful, but what the heck.

Also, your dog is beautiful.

Have a Happy New Year.

Anke said...

Hubby, the girls and I will sit down over a leisurely fondue later and just enjoy the evening with each other. We might watch a movie, play games, play Wii, whatever strikes our fancy...
My e-mail address is:

Cloudia said...

Aloha, George!
Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)

Comfort Spiral

Anonymous said...

Hey Kate,

Happy New Year! Congrats on the 400 milestone! Good for deserve it, the blog has great pics and reading!

We are staying in with the kids as we do every year. Hope your own peaceful evening is just as fun.

Hugs, Pat and Pete

CarlaHR said...

Hi Kate, wishing you and your loved ones a very Healthy, Happy 2010. Your new header is delightful, but then how can it not be with your talent for photography and the very photogenic George.
We're staying in tonight with a bottle of champagne, but we probably won't wait until midnight to open it.

A Scattering said...

Where to start?! Love the header. Love the cardinal shot you mentioned! Happy New Year - and through the ups and downs a year can hold, I wish you more joy than sorrow, more smiles than tears. And more tea than any one woman could want!

Tonight Geoff and I will eat pizza and drink red wine. Later we'll watch the Hogmany special of The Monarch of the Glen series on DVD and have a hot chocolate with Bailey's Irish Cream for a little kick. Gray, our insolent cat, will sleep through it all.........


Sweetpea said...

For the contest: A very quiet one on our rural island...if the skies fare well, we will most probably be out moon watching with the new spotting scope (Christmas prezzie from the Mr.) oh, and I can always be reached over on my blog -

For your camera lens: Heh CG, this is a long shot but it happened to me once, same as your description. Any chance your lens got wet at all - or - a lot of condensation formed inside? I put my lens in a plastic bag along with some dessicant packets (but salt or rice works too), sealed it tight for 24 hours and whaddya know, good as new again!

SUPERLUV your new banner. And I hope you win over at P-Dub's site :>}}

Cindy said...

Happy New Year!

I'm doing something very special. I'm spending it at home with my parents and my two pups. There's no place I'd rather be then with my wonderful parents on New Years Eve.

Anonymous said...

Have no specific plans as of yet...marriage is in a "funk", so plans are up in the air at this point. Hoping that 2010 will be a better year. Happy New Year Kate!

JacksDad said...

Godfather II.

And hamburgers! :)

Anonymous said...

Love your site. Read it every day. My hubby and I have 3 grown sons....all firemen. One is working tonight, one goes to work tomorrow and one will be loose on the town before he goes to work on Saturday. My hubby and I will be spending the evening together at home....probably watching a Hallmark movie or an oldie on TCM.

Deb said...

Happy New Year's my friend! Staying in tonight, Fred working. It will be a rip roaring night ...

Anonymous said...

I am in love with George, if I didn't have 4 cats I would totally convert to George. My cat Papi looks like George so that helps.....
xomecha at yahoo dot com.
I am also in love with the Cardinal photo in the holiday Bokeh.

RURAL said...

I have a feeling that it will involve a bottle of bubbly, and Gar falling asleep way before Midnight.

Bootsie will wake us up at 2 am.....

Ah life is good.

Happy New Year's, congrats on the new milestone.


Ellen said...

Happy New Year Kate. Here's to a new year filled with good things. And perhaps we'll finally get to meet!

I'll be enjoying this evening with some neighbors and friends across the street. It will be filled with lots of laughter and food (and drinks too!), though I'll probably be home by 12:30!

Donna S. said...

Stopping by a 40th surprise party & then home to veg out & read!!! I think you can link to me when I sign in with my blogger account??

DesertHen said...

What beautiful morning snowfall photos. Hope the camera stays in working order as your photos are just wonderful!

Love the new blog header, nice choice.

Tonight I will be home where it is safe and warm. We are expecting snow sometime this evening or tonight and I don't want to be out on bad roads. Maybe I will open a nice bottle of bubbly to go with our festive snacks....=)

Wishing you a Happy New Year's and lots of pats for George......=)


S. Etole said...

I saw your cardinal on PW's site and it made my heart happy ... just as most of your photos do. Have a wonderful New Year. It will be a quiet one here.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee ♥

Your cardinal pic is OUTSTANDING. I LOVE IT!! (I have even framed --- with a cheapo frame -- a beautiful Christmas card that my mother had received one year with a pretty cardinal on it.) But yours is AWESOME!!

Treasia Stepp said...

What a gorgeous morning view you woke to today. So peaceful and relaxing it looks.

No special plans at our house tonight. Trucker and I might clink our decaf coffee together at midnight (if we are still actually up then). Who knows, he might even get lucky. After all it's New Years Eve.

Michelle said...

We'll eat supper, put the boy to bed at his usual 8:00 bedtime, do chores down at the barn, and then I'll knit awhile while my husband watches TV. I might go to bed early; I wrecked my car and got my first-ever ticket today, so am in a major funk. Hiding from the world by burrowing under the covers is about the only thing I feel like doing.
mmcmillen @ macnet . com

maillady said...

happy new year kate, just staying in and havinga lovely bowl of chicken broth,.nothing better when your recouping from gallbladder surgery right. thanks for all new pictures.

jen said...

I just found your blog after seeing your cardinal shot on Pioneer Woman's blog…really beautiful shot!!

since you've got a contest running, I figure I may as well enter…you have such gorgeous images!

we are vegging at home tonight…my husband is watching TV & I'm putzing around on my laptop. We're hoping for the rain to stop so we can shoot some fireworks off later…not much hope of that by the looks of things, though.

Happy New Year!

BB said...

Oh I have to go back to Ree's now and have a look! Congrats - all your stuff rocks...

We've HAD New Year - spent NYE it at a neighbours and then home with kids and watching the fireworks on tv.

Sandy@American Way Farm said...

We're just about to head out to a friend's house for a bonfire, some sledding, snacks and great company. I can't think of a better way to celebrate that with folks I love who love me. To life! Happy New Year to everyone. (email is

Michelle said...

Staying in tonight with the kids while the husband works. I have broken up several "good spirited" arguments over Wii bowling and the Jack Russell has caught a mouse and is dashing around with it in her mouth. Good Times!!!

Congrats on the PW photo shout out. You are rolling with the big guns....

Michelle said...

Staying in tonight with the kids while the husband works. I have broken up several "good spirited" arguments over Wii bowling and the Jack Russell has caught a mouse and is dashing around with it in her mouth. Good Times!!!

Congrats on the PW photo shout out. You are rolling with the big guns....

Maria said...

Kate-that's the prettiest header yet. :-)

Okay, New Year's Eve. What am I doing? Drinking a glass of wine with a bird on my head, checking up on all my bloggy friends and ones that for some reason, lack blogs. I'm still snowbound but everyone in this area is dealing with the same sort of thing. Oh well. It's a quiet night, a very bright one because of all the snow, and I guess I'm thankful for a lot of things.

Best wishes for a happy new year to you and your husband and of course, George. :-)


Astaryth said...

Congrats on the PW exposure! I'm not surprised though, your photos Rock!

Wishing you, your husband, and of course George a Wonderful, Happy, Magical 2010!

I am spending the evening in with the Hubs and the Furkids (and the Internet LOL!). It is my favorite way to welcome the New Year. I will probably eat too much junk food and watch the ball drop at Midnight!

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I will be sitting with my honey who had oral surgery today and is feeling like a mule kicked him in the head. Have a wonderful New Year. Love your pictures. E mail is

tainterturtles said...

Came home after work tonight and my hubby was making homemade pizza.

Homemade pizza and a movie....what a perfect New Year's Eve.

Jeanne Walker said...

We are doing the same thing this New Year's Eve that we do every New Year's Eve...stay home where it's safe.

I almost bought a bottle of the bubbly to pop the cork tonight, but then we don't drink??? So I didn't!!! So I bought my husband a new pickup truck instead! Aren't I a terrific wife!!!

I pray that all we have a very blessed, very healthy, very prosperous and very Happy New Year!

Hugs, Jeanne

becky up the hill said...

Yea, congrats on your 'red-bird' photo..well we stayed home tonite. Snow is so amazing. I have a complex relationship with it tho. Happy New Year!

Sugar Creek Beads said...

Happy New Year Kate, may this year be a special blessing to you. I just spotted you on PW and knew it was you before I checked the name. I have always been crazy about your cardinals. Great new heading. George is a doll! My New Year's Eve was with a small group here and now it is quiet. Glad to be home again and look forward to catching up on my blogs and yours.

Skogkjerring said...

Hi Kate, I'm probably too late for the contest but it's ok, we had such a lovely night with dear dear friends last night. The one couple has a band and love to sing, so we brought out a guitar and began singing- it's in the company of good good friends you can feel like you can sing even when you KNOW you can't!!
Loved the photo from inside your house looking out- it's always neat to see the world through other people's eyes...
Have a fabulous New Year my friend- hugs from Norway :-)

tea4too0 said...

Happy New Year. I like your new header. Beautiful dog. I am glad to see your picture was showcased over at pw's site,good luck. My e mail addy is:
I spent the evening at my daughter's home. I cooked a southern supper of pork chops, fried taters, and black eyed peas. Chocolate cake w/brown sugar icing. Yum. We played Star Wars the Clone Wars Monopoly with my grand kids. I lost of course! Lol. Thank you for letting me enjoy your site.

Kerri Farley said...

Beautiful pics Kate! Happy New Year! It has been a pleasure getting to "know" you in 2009....Hoping great things for you and your hubby in 2010!!

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

Hi there, Kate. Congrats on your following and celebrating your 2nd year of blogging!

As for our New Years plans, it was quite uneventful (albeit safe). I babysat our 3 grandchildren during the day while their parents were working. At 4pm Doughboy and I beat the dinner rush at Chili's, then meandered home where we watched Julie/Julia in front of the fire with our 3 pups. In bed and asleep by 10pm as we are both battling head colds/sinus infections.

Happy New Year, Kate!!!!!

Need A Latte Mom said...

Happy New Year Kate!

I CANNOT imagine being without my camera. My heart sank for you.

We spent our new year by going out for BIG FAT DESSERTS!

Happy New Milestone!

Suzette said...

This was a remarkable year for me. After nearly 20 years of being alone, there is now someone special in my life. I was soooooo looking forward to sharing a fire and the new year with him last night. Alas...the flu bug hit him, and all he could think of was being sick by himself! So, I did what I usually do...sleep in front of the fire by myself and wait for the neighbor's fireworks to awaken me. It's a sure fire thing. :)


Golden West said...

We lounged in front of the fire, watching the Burn Notice marathon on television and eating your Orange Glazed Cranberry Cookies. That recipe should come with a warning: "Beware! These cookies may be impossible to resist" - we ate half the batch - delicious!

Thanks for creating such a delightful destination in the blog world. It's always a pleasure to stop by and see the world through your lens. Wishing you and yours all the best in this new year.

Unknown said...

I'm not surprised that PW showcased your photo. Your pictures are the best.

Happy New Year...hugs for George

nancy in ks said...

I have to thank you for giving me such a delightful morning. Your cardinal photograph on PWs site is so rich and full of beauty that I followed the photo to your blogs and have been relishing your photography and writing all morning.

Do you know how gifted you are? Do you know how fortunate you are to live in such a beautiful, beautiful place? I live in Kansas, where any little hill is a rarity, and our trees don't grow all that tall.

I signed up to follow your blog, and will look forward to it every day.

I think part of what pulls at me so much is that my "people" (mom, dad, extended family, favorite childhood neighbors, - who are all gone now-) were just like this. They watched birds, took long walks, would go get someone to share a leaf, or sunset, or insect with, and I just miss them so much sometimes.

We spend a lot of time with our adult children and people their age. They are alway rushing and their eyes are always on a computer (like mine are right now :-), or a cell phone. And they don't have time.

I miss my people. I found you, though.

Jeanne Frances Klaver said...

Love Jack Finney's writing. Both books were great. Congrats on your cardinal photo—it's a beauty.