Merry Mid-January

We’re very nearly into the double digits in January, and I’m working my way into the month with our Christmas tree proudly standing in the front window. I kind of like it. It is the prettiest Christmas tree of my adult life, and it’s definitely cheery. Why not leave it up for cool winter nights?

Peanut is hoping the tree will fall soon so that he can see out the window again, but I’m happy with things for now. I’ve got other things to do.

Before mid-January arrived, Scott, Peanut and I got to take quick trips to Blacksburg and North Carolina. This was our greeting at the family farm:

sunset

When we got home, I needed to apply for a new passport ASAP (more on that fun reason soon). I was afraid that when I submitted my old passport for renewal, they might just keep it a la the DMV and old licenses. Fortunately, that’s not how it works. I took a few pictures of my old passport before dropping it off, just in case. I really really didn’t want to lose those stamps.

passport

While I ran back and forth between the post office and home to get paperwork sorted out, I got a few packs of seeds for our winter vegetable garden. As I was paying for the seeds, the store owner put them into a small paper bag that was decorated with a marker-drawn flower. I loved it right away, and I loved it even more when he shrugged and said, “My granddaughter was here earlier.” A granddaughter-decorated paper bag is the perfect way to start a winter garden, in my opinion.

bag

What else am I doing? I’m editing things, painting things, and painting other types of things (the first being watercolors, the second being doors and trim and such around the house).
painting

I’m hoping that my paintings become more than rough drafts of ideas soon. I feel good about that.

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Vacation Goals: Puppy! (and other less important things)

Today really requires more in the way of visual aid than text.  Exhibit A:

I’ve been snuggling that little guy a lot in the past few days.  He has parasites, and you can feel every one of his ribs as a result, but the fluffy factor makes him a pretty irresistible bag of bones.  It’s hard to adequately describe the charms of a sleepy puppy.

Exhibit B is the dog who is currently training the puppy how to beg his way onto a couch and sneak out of a fence:

Apparently, nap time is a big deal for the canines of this household.

After a serious morning of dog hangout time, we made some lunch.  This is where I learned how to cook:

My mom is a great cook, I promise.  She and I both just happen to forget that things are in the oven sometimes.  Life happens and cute puppies distract you.

Or you pop into the garden for a second to check on your dinner.

And use your shirt as a harvest basket.  It works.

And you admire your cherry tomatoes.  And your artichokes.

And don’t forget about the squash blossoms.

Before you know it, you’re eating slightly charred sandwiches, and who cares when you get to look at this out the front door?!

(I almost forgot that there was eclair consumption today, too.  Check.)