Friday, January 31, 2014


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where you share 5 random facts about you, your day,
your pets, your kids, whatever
1. I never make New Year's resolutions, but instead, I pick one word that signifies what I will concentrate on in the coming year. It took a while this year, but it has come to me.
My word for 2014 is "simplify"; facilitate, streamline, disentangle, to make less complicated, clearer, or easier.
I'm going to identify what’s most important to me, and eliminate or downsize everything else.
2. I'm starting the process by de-cluttering my computer hard drive. Do I really need 2 copies of every photograph I have taken over the past 4 or 5 years? And how about that "favorites" bookmark list...mine seems endless. Then there is all of the unopened email, that would take at least 6 months to read, if I ever got around to it!
3. Next comes the wardrobe. I have clothes that I haven't worn in ages, and will never wear again. Some of them are out of style, some are just plain old and ugly, and a lot of them have somehow "shrunk" over the years while sitting in the closet.
4. Oh, and housework. That definitely has to be streamlined. I think I will call a truce with the dust bunnies until it's time for Spring Cleaning, let the laundry collect for a least a week before I throw it into the wonder washer, and stop cleaning the windows, I'll open them, rather than shoot through them to take photographs!
5. Cook less, eat out more. I love to cook, but after 40 years of it, the thrill is starting to wear off. We rarely eat out because most restaurants simply do not serve good food. But, I just found a great little organic food cafĂ© in the city, that looks promising. A sweet pepper chicken melt panini, with a bowl of carrot ginger soup, and a side of cilantro lentil sprout salad, sounds absolutely yummy, and would make an excellent Friday night supper! Oh, and I just looked at their desert menu - I think one two or two three of those fresh baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, might just have my name on them!
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Don't Want Your Photos "Auto Enhanced"?

Today when I uploaded my photos, they were auto enhanced by Blogger.  You can see in the post below.

I had not linked my blog to Google+ because of all the horror stories I had read about doing that. Since I was not linked to Google+ I could not turn off the auto enhance feature in the Google+ account settings.

So, today I learned that linking your Blogger account to Google+ is no big deal, if you do it the proper way.

Here's a link that will tell you exactly how to link your Blogger account to Google+ without having to actually switch to Google+

How to set up a Google+ profile for an existing Blogger account

Follow the directions exactly.

The procedure described in the link simply creates a Google+ profile for the Google (Blogger)account that you are using.  It does not change your blog settings in any way, and any Blogger posts that you make will still be attached to your Blogger profile, not to the Google+ profile.

Once you have linked to Google+ you can turn off the nasty auto enhance feature via your account settings in Blogger. Which I did!

And here is my original photo!

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Uhoh! Help! Edit, All Fixed

I fixed it, see post above.
Blogger is ruining my photos!
Look at this!
For some reason all the photos I have uploaded today have some weird softened effect.
In my original photo of this dove, each and every feather has nice detail.
I have visited a couple of blogs that have mentioned that their photos are being automatically enhanced by Google+ I have not signed up with Google+ so I really have no idea what is happening. All my photos are uploaded to Picasa via the "Insert Image" button on my "Create A Post" editor.
I searched through a few of my friends blogs to look for the information on how to turn off this auto enhance feature, but I can't find the information.

I would really appreciate it if someone in the know, could help me fix the settings in Blogger so that my photos appear on my blog the way they are supposed to!
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


It's not snowing this morning, it's too cold to snow! Minus 31C (-24F).
It doesn't seem to bother the birds!
 Male Cardinal
 Female Cardinal
 Male Downy
Female Downy

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

It's Snowing Again

It's snowing again, and the temperature is dropping fast.
I'll be viewing my world through the windows for a couple more days.

 Goldfinches in the cedar tree.
A Chickadee looking in from outside.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Starlings, A Squirrel, And A Sweetie!

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European Starlings (Winter Plumage)

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Black Squirrel
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Beep (my granddaughter) is joining in these memes on her blog(Beep's Blog) 
She'd be thrilled if you stopped by.
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Friday, January 24, 2014


Frost on my kitchen window
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where you share 5 random facts about you, your day,
your pets, your kids, whatever.
Total randomosity
1. We need new windows on the entire main floor of our house. I'm holding off till the spring, because I love frost on glass. With the new high efficiency triple glazed glass, frost will be a thing of the past when the new windows are in.
2. I've taken an interest in Permaculture, and I am planning to use some of the principles for my gardens this year. I have been having great fun perusing online garden catalogs from seeds to trees. I am planting by "zone" So far I have decided I will plant 2 hazelnut trees, 3 weeping fruiting mulberry bushes, and a Russian olive tree in the far corner of the yard. This week I am picking out plants for the butterfly and hummingbird garden.
3. I got a new washing machine last week. It's a top of the line super duper model. I really wanted something simple, but when I saw this spacey looking stainless steel wonder, with all the neat digital buttons and at least 20 different cycles, water temps and levels, I was hooked. After the delivery guys installed it in the laundry room, Hubbers and I stood there admiring it, and decided to do a load of laundry right away! To make a long story short, after many (and mostly futile) attempts to get the settings right, and push the proper buttons, the machine actually washed the clothes, and even played a cute little song when the load was done. I should have bought a simpler model!
4. We are in the midst of another "Polar Vortex" weather wise. I do enjoy winter, but it's so cold that I can't even step out the door. I guess I shouldn't complain, in about six months it will be summer, and it will be so hot that I won't be able to step outside the door. Hmmmmm....
5. Hubbers and I estimated that so far this winter, we have spent approximately $150.00 on peanuts for the squirrels. Here's hoping those hazelnut tress I am planting in the spring, grow really fast!
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Not Grey For One Day!

Not a very exciting sky shot...unless you haven't seen a blue sky for weeks.
Well, we hadn't until yesterday, so I was excited!
But, it's back to grey, with snow today.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014


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Male House Finch
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Female House Finch
American Goldfinch
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Black Squirrel (Bandit Button Nose)
This little guy has a unique face for a squirrel, and I think he is as "cute as a button".
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Thursday, January 16, 2014


From my summer archives, Cottage Country, Ontario
sharing with...
where you share 5 random facts about you, your day,
your pets, your kids, whatever.
Really random this week!
1. I suffer from "dentophobia"...severely! I finally dragged myself to the dentist this morning. I'll have you know I was kicking and screaming all the way. Well, in my mind anyway. I managed to look calm, cool, and collected as I walked into the office. I came out with a great checkup, a new toothbrush, dental floss, and some toothpaste for sensitivity. I was a little disappointed they didn't let me dig through the toy treasure chest, After all, I was a very good girl.
2. I am really getting bored with "winter food". Soups, stews, and roasts are yummy, but I am longing for a barbecued chicken Caesar salad, or a burger, with a heap of potato salad. I guess I could always brush the foot of snow off the bbq, don my balaclava and brave the elements.
3. I went out shopping the other day. I got the best deals ever- two designer sweaters at 75% off! I love a bargain!
4. Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) is one of my favourite non-holiday days. I just can't wait for that little Albino rodent to come up with his Spring prognostication. We rely on Wiarton Willie for the news here in my part of Canada. In the summer we popped over to Wiarton from the cottage to visit Willie. He has his own little habitat in town, overlooking Colpoy's Bay.
 Unfortunately he was sleeping deep in his burrow, so this is as good as it got.
Beep did enjoy posing with his statue though.
5. We might just have to take a trip up to the Wiarton Willie Festival in February. Could be a lot of fun, and help beat the winter blahs.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Big Bird

Accipiter cooperii
There are a couple of Cooper's Hawks that are visiting my yard quite regularly this winter. This is the largest, a juvenile judging by the colour, and a female by the size, she looks to be about 18 t0 20 inches.

She sat in the tree in the neighbour's yard for over 15 minutes,
eyeing me as I moved around taking photos of her from all angles.
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cute X 3

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Black-capped Chickadee
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Black Squirrel (Bandit)
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Morkie (Merfy)
Beep (my granddaughter) is joining in these memes on her blog(Beep's Blog) 
She'd be thrilled if you stopped by.
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Random 5

where you share 5 random facts about you, your day,
your pets, your kids, whatever
1. Although I a am "winter person", the past week of living in the Polar Vortex, has made me long just a bit for spring.
2. I've spent more money on birdseed so far this season than I want to will admit.
3. I've decided to Permaculture(Click Here) the backyard over the next few years.
4. I'm debating over having a couple of chickens in the yard this year. Since I live in suburbia, I'm sure the neighbours would not approve. I'll have to check the city bylaws. 
5. Oh, and I'd love to have a goat too!
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Tree Gallery

It's dang frigid here tonight. Minus 44F with the wind chill, as I prepare this post.
It will be a balmy minus 40F on Tuesday.
These photos were taken over the past two days, when the temps were milder, (minus 28F).
The birds take refuge in our big cedar tree in the backyard, and eat from the many feeders out there. I hope that keeping the feeders stocked will help these critters survive this record breaking cold snap!
Dark-eyed Junco (female)
Tree Sparrow
Cardinal (female)
White-throated Sparrow
Goldfinch (male, winter plumage)
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Blues

Another Canadian winter day. More snow, squalls, high winds, and temperatures dropping to minus 33 Fahrenheit with the wind-chill. This Blue Jay looks a bit disgruntled with it all, but at least he has a stash of peanuts (to the right).

I'm going to curl up by the fire with hot tea, my gardening books, and plan my vegetable garden for this year!

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Friday, January 3, 2014

A Cold Snap

I marvel at how these little critters survive during a cold snap.
Temperatures this week varied from minus 18 to minus 28 (with the wind-chill).
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American Tree Sparrow
Black Squirrel
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Thursday, January 2, 2014