31 October 2013

All Saints Day

Frosted Dry Flowers
After two days of mist and fog, this morning dawned with a clear sky and frost on the ground!   It was lovely to walk around the yard when I got home from work this morning and see the frost tinged beauty of the late autumn garden.

Frosted Raspberry leaves
Every leaf was outlined with a rim of frost crystals.

Frost Rimed Geranium

Halloween
God of time
God of dark
God of earth
God of heaven,
You are
Stronger than the elements,
Stronger than the shadows,
Stronger than the fears,
Stronger than human wills,
Stronger than the spirits,
Stronger than magic spells.
Your presence be our shield 
The love of God to enfold us;
The peace of God to still us;
The spirit of God to fill us;
The saints of God to inspire us;
The angels of God to guard us
This night, this winter, forever. 
From "Celtic Blessings, Prayers for Everyday Life" compiled by Ray Simpson

Frosted Comfrey

Chickadee
While I was out taking photos, this little chickadee had to stop and see what I was doing!  They are such perfect little storybook birds!

Wishing you all a Blessed All Saints Day and a Happy Halloween!



29 October 2013

The Linen Closet

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Remember this closet?  My brother-in-law kindly built some shelves in this closet for me a couple of weeks ago.  

Linen Closet before painting
Once the shelves were installed, it was my job to paint them.  I won't tell you how many coats of paint it took to cover up the pink and turquoise paint.  Suffice it to say "many!"  Eventually, I'll paint the inside of the doors as well, but I have to go get more paint first!  

Linen Closet Complete!
How wonderful it is to get my linens out of the many plastic tubs and get them in one place where I can actually access them.  There's still some organization to do, but that will come.  My daughter helped and it was so nice to be able to pass on stories of some of the pieces as we worked!

One of the stories was about the large purple and pink comforter you see on the bottom shelf.  Once upon a time, my great grandmother, Babushka (as we called her), raised geese and ducks for the purpose of having a big feather bed.   It was large and very heavy and much prized.  The day came when the feather bed was no longer needed, and so she had it made into two "feather ticks", one for my Mom and one for my Uncle.  The cover is made of pink silk on one side and a soft but sturdy cotton sateen on the other.  The silk has since shattered and needs replaced.  I remember snuggling up in it as a young child and just loving it! Like being enveloped in a snugly cloud!  It is so heavy and SO warm, that it is impractical in a modern centrally heated house.  But if the power goes out, it is fabulous!  

28 October 2013

The Change of the Season

Burning Bush Changing Color
It is a perfect snuggly autumn morning here.  The leaves are changing so fast.  I love this view of the Burning Bush from my study window.  It's the perfect spot to start my morning with the first cup of tea of the day.  Soule Mama mentions "first tea" on her blog this morning and it struck a chord with me.  First Tea.  Second Tea.  Just like the Hobbit's First and Second Breakfast.  Perfect!

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Just a week ago, the grass was still green and the leaves were just beginning to change.

Front of House
This week, the aspen leaves are nearly gone and the burning bushes around the house have gone mostly scarlet.  The green starts to subside in the landscape as the golds of autumn take over.

Fall Color in the Yard
It's a symphony of color!

Day-lilies changing
Even the dying leaves of the daylilies get into the act with shades of brilliant gold.

Rose Leaves and Raindrops
The rose leaves are stunning with red borders and drops of morning rain.

Front Yard to Northeast
The yard around the house is scattered with the coin sized leaves from the aspen.

Frosted Dandelion
There are some lingering dandelion seed-heads as well.  

Late Lily
In the bed along the front walk, I discover this late blooming Nerine lily.  I was anticipating it to bloom in August, but it's just come into bloom in the last day or two.  What a lovely surprise!

26 October 2013

The Great Scanning Project

Sorting Slides in prep for scanning
When my Mother passed away, I became the "keeper" of the family archives.  This is quite a job as my Mother worked at doing the family genealogy almost full time for over 20 years.  The collection includes all the research, publications with appropriate and background information, memorabilia that ranges from clothing to teacups to miner's headlamps, etc.  Not to mention the huge amount of slides and photographs, not only from her and my Father's life together, but for all the extended genealogy family research!  It takes up a huge amount of space.  An entire room in my basement is dedicated wholly to storing all this research as I'll show you below.  

Thus, I embarked on a plan (even before my Mother passed away) to at least get all the photos and slides scanned and organized.  That's the short term goal.  The long term goal is to get all the memorabilia photographed and all the research scanned/digitized.  Then, I hope to donate the entire physical lot of it to some organization who will be able to house it and make it available to those who would like to access the information.  I haven't found a source who will take it yet, but that's my hope.  

Sorting Slides
The first step was finding a way to organize the slides.  It's so much easier if I can scan them directly to an organized file.  I chose to do it chronologically, at least for the slides and photos from my parent's marriage in 1955 to the present time.  The slides have been stored in a number of different ways, so I've been gathering them from boxes, slide carousels, baggies, suitcases, etc. and organizing them by year.  Within each year, I find many are dated by the month they were developed and so I've been sorting them by develop date and the number order, which is also usually printed on the slide.  Then I have been putting them in shallow boxes by year with tabs for the date and specific events so I can easily scan a group to a file on the computer by the same name.    Eventually, these will be stored in some metal slide files that I ordered.  They will take up significantly less space than the carousel boxes do!   

Set up for working
The scanner sits next to my computer desk and with the addition of the little table to organize things, the scanning goes pretty quickly, all things considered!  I can scan slides at the rate of about 180 slides an hour if I'm organized and all goes well.  It's a good project to work on late at night when I'm awake due to my crazy working schedule as a night nurse.  

Slides in Page protectors
Some of the slides have been stored in these "protector" sheets.  I'm discovering that they are my least favorite of the storage methods.  Too many of the slides stored this way have gotten scratched while inserting or removing them.  And simply, they are just a pain in the neck to deal with.  I'm SO glad to be getting the slides out of them. 

Suitcase full of slides
Some of the slides were stored in this old suitcase.  At least it kept them dry, dark and contained, but probably not ideal!  

Main Genealogy Storage
The majority however are stored in carousel boxes.  They take up a huge amount of space.  I've already scanned over 6 or 7 boxes not shown here.  This wall of shelves is all genealogy storage, photographs (boxes and boxes in addition to albums) and slides.  The file cabinet is also half full of genealogy stuff.  The bottom row of boxes and the boxes out of view to the left hold memorabilia and notebooks of research. 

Photo Albums - 80 plus years
These are the photo albums from my family dating back from the 1930's to the present time.  Most of the older photos are in boxes or notebooks of research.

More Photos and Memorabilia
This shelf also contains more photo albums, framed pictures and more memorabilia (and my Christmas China, which is just about the only non-genealogy stuff in the entire room!). 

So as you can see, I have quite a job ahead of me.  Scanning slides is easy, just time consuming.  Photographs and negatives are a little harder.  I do love discovering some of the wonderful photos tucked away in all of this.  They are a nice reward for all the hard work and keep me motivated.   It's a big job!  

22 October 2013

Perfect Autumn Days

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There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804 - 1864


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Lovely autumn days here.  Beautiful light, crisp air, and the sunshine sparkles on the changing leaves!  Perfect weather for taking walks and curling up after in a chair in a sunny window with a good book! 

17 October 2013

Tidbits

Autumn Tidbits
Did a quick sketch today of some autumn tidbits from around the yard.  A rose hip from one of the new roses, a mushroom found growing on the roots of an old cottonwood stump, a stalk of seedpods from the harebells, a rose twig, and a little feather.

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At long last, I finished the last memory book of last years trip to Great Britain!  Love having my photos, journal and blog posts all contained in these books that one can sit and read at leisure..

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Creating these books was nearly like taking the trip all over again as I revisited so many places through the photos and journal I kept!  What a dream come true it was!

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14 October 2013

Getting Things Done!

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My sister and her husband have been here for a few days!  It's always a joy to see them, but this time is a little different than our usual visits!  How blessed I am that they wanted to come and "help" with some things around the house.  Goodness what a lot they've gotten done!

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They started in the kitchen, where the trim and baseboards were not yet up.

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It looks fabulous now!

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Next they turned to the wall where I've wanted to put some open shelves.  Because of the lathe and plaster walls, we had to drill some pretty big holes for the anchors.

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The brackets going up!

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And the shelves are in!  They'll be painted white to match the walls, but that's a job I'll be doing later this week.

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We put a couple more shelves near the stove where the microwave will go.

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In the breakfast nook (which is now my studio) they added a shelf to a cabinet to make it more functional.

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At the door between the kitchen and the garage, there was an inch and a half gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.  They added a nice new door sill and an door sweeps to give an airtight seal and keep out the cold air this winter!  I love the shelves and trim, but this door sill, makes me SO happy!  It's been one of my pet peeves about my little house and now it's all taken care of!  I'll stain it later this week to match the floor.

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I had a piece of countertop left and so they put it next to the washer and dryer to give me a bit more folding space and to help keep our clean laundry out of the kitty box!  They also built a cover for the dryer vent hose that snaked along the back of the wall behind the kitty box.  So much easier to keep clean now!

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Today they are working in the sewing room closet, putting in shelves so I will finally have a place to store my linens and crafting supplies.

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This is also in the sewing room.  There was a set of broken drawers at the bottom, which they removed and framed out.  There will more shelves put in here, so hopefully, the majority of my storage woes will be gone once this is completed!  I plan to paint over that pink and turquoise scheme in the closet!

It's amazing how much of my "to do" list they have gotten done in just a few days!  Thank you George and Holly!

06 October 2013

Autumn Begins

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The top of the china cabinet has been redecorated for autumn with an assortment of old crockery pieces, pewter and hand dipped beeswax candles.

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Mollie Kitty had to participate too by sitting in the basket I was using to bring some of the seasonal decor up from the basement.

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Outside, autumn is off to a slow start this year.  The silver lace vine is in full bloom and decorated with some lovely morning glories!

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The white zinnias from the vegetable garden gather spots of red as the weather cools.

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A few last posies to enjoy inside!  The yellow rose was especially sweet smelling!

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With all the rain that Colorado had this past month, it is incredibly green and not the usual autumn golds  and browns.  Just a hint that the seasons are changing.

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Dots of color on the aspen...

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And on the Burning Bush, though most of the leaves continue to be green.

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On the cottonwood shoots, the stems have gone red

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But here and there, a branch of golden aspen leaves!

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