Wednesday, December 28, 2005

After Christmas thoughts and of Snow

It's after Christmas and I've been so busy I haven't had any time to enter anything for awhile...I've visited a few of you out there are a few thoughts of after Christmas and snow. ....which we did not get!   These four pictures are just some nostalgia, a reflection and a couple of funny ones I got via email at the end.   The first picture is Victoriana for sure...the second is the peace of the birth...the third and fourth are good for a couple of chuckles........ 
some of these were bigger than the others...:)

Winter Scene                            Peaceful Family

Some New Year Humor from an email I got: 

Enjoying the deck
Picture from Hometown

Front door Freezer
                            Picture from Hometown     

Maria   :)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rose Hello and Geese Visit

                                       Picture from Hometown  

 I used this little Rose hello last year in a Christmas Powerpoint file I made for my family.  It looks best with a white background.  If you have never put a slide show together in powerpoint...well it's pretty cool some of the things you can do.  You can have things fly into the screen or just pop up, you can have things twirl or go around and around. 

I don't know who made this gif but it is one of my I like roses?  YES!  

Then below is a picture I took recently and just love.  We have so many Canadian Geese here in Seattle.  Seems they like to rest near where I work and one frosty mornings in between buildings I was walking just after a meeting and spotted these birds in the whiteness.  Having my camera and camera permit with me I stopped and took a few shots.  This makes a great desktop picture as a background and is what I currently have on my screen.   Feel welcome to use it...but leave a comment or send me an email.  I have learned that non AOL readers cannot leave comments so just send me an email at  I love hearing from people.  

                                                    Maria  :)    

                   Picture from Hometown

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Hammered Dulcimer and an Angel

              Picture from Hometown

Yes, I own a hammered dulcimer.  I play it infrequently but always at Christmastime.  Sometimes when I play it I feel like I'm in a different land.  My background is hungarian and these instruments are fairly common in Hungary...but they are called Cimboloms there.   I play christmas tunes and a couple of folk tunes.   My favorite is music box dancer. In my previous entry the Magical Strings orchestra played and plucked on a couple of hammered dulcimers as well as a harp, flutes and violins.  This one was made for me by a traveling instrument maker during the early years of my marriage (awhile ago) and somewhere I still have his picture....when I find it again I will post it on this entry if not much time has passed.  Maybe someone will recognize him.   The instrument makes beautiful sounds with the help of a human hand and maybe a patient angel watching overhead and sending along a little magical twinkle or two....                

                                                 Maria   :)         


              Picture from Hometown    

                                        Picture from Hometown

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Magical Strings

                    Picture from Hometown  

Hello all,  I am borrowing a couple of gifs today from other sites.  They are so pretty.   Went to a wonderful musical last night performed by the Magical Strings music group.  This is a family operation and has been performing for over 27 years.  Celtic music and hammered dulcimer.  I still have my hammered dulcimer from my college days ...need to wipe off the dust and practice.  I usually pull it out during Christmastime.  I'll post some pictures of it in another entry.  Their website is  if you want to learn more.  They had dancers in the river dance tradition and right after intermission they had a procession that included some of the audience that wanted to get dressed up.  It was a real family affair.  A very talented and musical family...;)        

          Picture from Hometown     

                                 Picture from Hometown


Monday, December 19, 2005

Weekend Assignment #90: Holiday Memories  link to Scalzi's page
In all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it's good to take a moment to remember that this time of year is full of wonderful memories. And that brings us to this week's Weekened Assignment:

Weekend Assignment #90: Share a treasured holiday memory. If it happened during the holiday season (which means, basically, from the the day after Thanksgiving to the end of the Bowl Games), it's eligible.

I have lots of favorites so it's hard to pick but one of my strongest memories is an early one sitting under a huge christmas tree in Pittsburgh, PA.  My mom always dress my sister and I up like twins...we were 1 and 1/2 years was pretty cute.   Me on the the black and white.

Picture from Hometown

But I have to also include another one a little later where we both were wearing red velvet dresses that my mom made us.  I loved velvet...still do.   Me on the right in color....:)

Picture from Hometown

Extra credit:
Fruitcake: Ever, you know, had any?  
Yes and sometimes good, sometimes not so good...:)

Picture from Hometown

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Rose Tree

This rose tree was at a department store in our Southend Mall called Westfield Mall.  That store is Nordstrom's.  The whole store has themed it's decorations with Roses.  I loved them.  The roses all had sparkling edges which don't show up too well here.  The pink and magenta colors were very dramatic.

Picture from Hometown   Picture from Hometown  


My Tree

Click here to hear sound


This is my tree! 

Picture from Hometown   
It grew at the side of our house for about 3 years.  It was a volunteer and now it is inside.  You can probably see
I like white feather birds.   The tree developed
a flat side so it was perfect for the spot against the wall.  

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!



PS:  also the entry for Scalzi's Monday shoot since my main decoration is our tree...:)

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Decorations!
Twas the monday before Christmas (and Hanukkah! And the Winter Solstice!) and all through AOL-J, John Scalzi was saying, "you know, people have too much to do for me to make a complicated Photo Shoot this week." So: Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show me the decorations! Yes, time to pimp your seasonal decorating bug, folks. Show us what you got. Take the picture, post it on your Journal/Blog, and then come back to leave a link. Easy!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Caroling thru J-Land

Click here to hear sound

Picture from Hometown

To participate: 

1) Make an entry titled "Caroling Through J-Land" with these same instructions so others can play along.

2) Visit as many journals as you can and look for their entry titled "Caroling Through J-Land". Leave the title of your favorite carol, along with your name and link to your journal for other carolers.

3) Spread the word so we all can meet new friends and spread some Christmas cheer!

4) Caroling ends this Sunday night at midnight to give everyone plenty of time to make the rounds.

Favorite song for now:

Jingle  Bell Rock

Bobby Helms

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock

Jingle bells swing andjingle bells ring

Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun

Now the jingle hop has begun

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock

Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time

Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square

In the frosty air

What a bright time, it's the right time

To rock the night away

Jingle bell time is a swell time

To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh

Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet

Jingle around the clock

Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet

That's the jingle bell,

That's the jingle bell,

That's the jingle bell rock!!!!!


You can hear the jingle bell rock music at this link:
And this link gets you to a bunch of other favorites:

A friend journaler has the original string to this fun exercise!


Christmas links for you

Two links for you today:  

1) D's Designs, a great site and wonderful graphics.   Check her out.  She made the heart snowing gif and my lamppost name plate.  

2) An earlier entry of mine that links to songs for Caroling.  A wonderful little site and the dancing bears gif works there!     

1) Here is D's Designs link:        

Picture from Hometown

2) See my earlier entry at this link for the dancing bears....     Picture from Hometown



Picture from Hometown

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Power Color

What is your Power color?  Mine turns out to be magenta!  This is an interesting exercise and I hope you try it out.  I wonder what would happen if I wore magenta for that important meeting...would I get what I want?   Here is the link to the site where you can find out what is your power color!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Polar Bear Blessings and Watch Out


I got this from an email and thought it was so cute.  I did not take these pictures but thought they were really cute. 

Wishing you polar bear blessings!

Picture from Hometown 

Just watch out for those penguins!!!!!!!

Picture from Hometown  


Feather Trees

These are feather trees...yes little trees made entirely with green dyed feathers.   This is another little surprise from the Teddy bear suite.  I have another entry on polar bears I am going to was actually an email sent to me and I'll see how it goes.  I may shorten it a bit.....soon to come...



The Teddy Bear Suite at the Olympic Hotel

The most adorable thing happened when I attended a retirement surprise party at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel here in downtown Seattle.  I discovered the Teddy Bear Suite on my way out.  It is a suite that is entirely dedicated to Teddy Bears.   Little children can come and get photographed with these little stuffed friends.  Some of which were pretty big!  What a great idea.  It brings new meaning to the concept of Wonderland. 


Thursday, December 8, 2005

Lake Winterwood


Lake Winterwood...a Charming community.  I recently attended a baby shower at a home here and loved it.  From the entrance sign with the Swan to the little lake it was so picturesque and just made me feel good.  I took pictures before and after the shower of the surrounding area.  I am a total Swan addict.  Something about a swan is so graceful when you see one fully developed and in flight or just swimming around.  Although there were none in the lake at the time the entrance sign did satisfy.  Enjoy.  

Monday, December 5, 2005

Dresses ooh and ahhh


  Yes,  it's that time those formal are a few from my daughter's collection...just  a few.   Maria

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Bluejay in the rain


   It was raining and I looked out back to see a little bluejay perched on our bench.  It tilted it's head and gave me a look of curiousity before it moved on.   Surprised I could get this close with my zoom lens.  It was inside and through the living room window I believe.  This would probably make a great desktop background scene since it is a little washed out.  Like a water color and how appropriate...look closely and you will definitely see the rain!


Picture from Hometown 

 This was the original picture...before the cutout and the closeup!  ;)   Maria

Roses 4 You Experiment

Picture from Hometown   Picture from Hometown   Picture from Hometown   There was a wonderful bunch of Holiday Bazaars all around the town this weekend.  I attended a couple, one of which had a hawaiian theme.  Yet what did I spend most of my computer time doing?  Looking at ways to make my candycane roses look different by adding words and trying different colors.   Every once in awhile I get some ideas and they seem to be hung up.  The ideas are there right at the tip on my thoughts but just out of I went with the flow and these are three of the rose Icons I came up with for now.        Maria

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Candy Cane Roses


Candy Cane Roses..that's what I call these flowers since I am not sure of the name.  I bought them for myself from the grocery store.  Every time I catch a glimpse of them I smile.  Short entry today,  Have a cheery day!     


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Change is in the air


Today I am back to the little's the quickest and that is what I am planning to be today.   Change is in the air...I can feel it.... it's everywhere all around us.  The first real frosty freeze happened the other morning and it stayed around until about 10:30 am.  I took a break at work and snapped some photos of the little park by us.  The canadian geese were all laying around and then another smaller flock flew in while I was watching.   The white crystals on the benches seemed to be saying:  'Ha!  I'm here and here to stay for awhile!  Change is coming'.    I didn't sit down...nope it was not inviting to sit but it was inticing to look at and marvel at the mystery of snow crystals.   Changes are coming with the season.  It is said that change is's natural..without it we wouldn't grow.   I do love the changing of the seasons and it is never boring even though it happens every few months.   Sometimes it just happens so fast and unexpectedly....I'm not prepared.  It's so much like when it rains and you don't have an umbrella.   Stress also comes with change if you let it.   Ha!  I knew there was a catch.   Remember that a full moon also means change and that happens every month.  Yes, change is in the air and everywhere.  So I say to myself:  'Self, stay in the moment and enjoy it... or let stress win.'  'Not I, said the fly'...;)  

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

John Scalzi's Monday shoot - the Letter G & more!

  Picture from Hometown   Girl from South Park - me? Today I am doing both the John Scalzi Monday photo shoot:  see his is on the letter 'G' and his other entry for what you might look like as a cartoon from South's fun-to-see (or fantasy). ..yep this would be me as a Girl from Southpark...;) Maria  

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Waxing a little poetic


Picture from Hometown

I seem to be waxing poetic right 7:00am on a rainy, dark, Sunday morning.  

I have some scrabbooking software that allows me to play around with words on a photo.  I'm a great one for trying different things to make something work.  I was able to group the picture with the words and then copy and paste it into Powerpoint.  After that I saved the picture as a jpeg file from powerpoint which is a feature that works when you right click the picture in powerpoint.   I know there is probably something out there that works better...I will find that sooner or later...:)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Christmas experiment

Hello all!     I have graduated to moving pictures!  It is a momentous occassion for me and I hope for you too!   This little dancing bear entry comes from a wonderful website where you can find lots of singalong songs.

                         Picture from Hometown