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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. About a week ago we had a rare somewhat sunny day so Charlie and I headed to our favorite place to do some nature photography, Lake Ontario at Webster Park. I reported in my last nature Friday post that the parking lot had been closed but this time it was open! It was nice to get out and enjoy what has become a very rare sunny day. We had gone about 60 days with complete cloud cover and since last Saturday it’s been mostly cloudy every day again.

Female Long-Tailed Duck

By the time we arrived at the park it was later in the morning so there were no opportunities for any sunrise pictures but we were lucky enough to find some Long-Tailed ducks in the water. 

Male Long-Tailed Duck

The water was quite choppy which made photographing the ducks very challenging as they bobbed up and down on the waves. There were two males and one female in the area. The female stayed near the mouth of a creek that drains into Lake Ontario where the waves were crashing as the water rushed out. There was quite a bit of debris like sticks and small logs in the water there too. Long-Tailed ducks are diving ducks that spend the most time underwater compared to other diving ducks and the female was demonstrating that very well.

Female Long-Tailed duck getting ready to dive.

Dive!

Submerged!

I don’t know what she found under the water as I never saw her bring anything up. She was diving so frequently that I wasn’t sure I got any decent pictures of her until I got home. Since I had the camera set to shoot slow speed burst I was happy to see I captured one of her dives. It was quite a challenge photographing the female as she would only spend a few seconds on the surface before diving again and you were never quite sure where she would come up next. By the time I had her in my viewfinder she was diving again!

Meanwhile the boys were just hanging out, riding the waves.

The boys spent some of their time preening.

I thought it was funny that while the female was working so hard diving the boys were making themselves more beautiful. In all the time I was watching them I didn’t see the males dive once. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing these ducks on Lake Ontario at Webster Park this week.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. Christmas was a few weeks ago but we waited until after New Year’s Day to see if we had any late arriving cards before we did our final tally.

These are all the cards we received.

The last card to arrive was from our uncle Paul who lives in Connecticut which is about 350 miles away. It took 4 weeks for it to make it to our house!

Check the postmark! This was mailed on December 11th and arrived on January 7th.

The card enclosed in this late arriving envelope was so appropriate for this year. You can see it on the far right ribbon. It’s a dark gray color and on the cover it just says “WTF”! BOL! Our uncle has a great sense of humor.

We haven’t been very happy with the postal service in this country lately. Our mom mailed a package to her mom on December 14th and it finally arrived yesterday over 4 weeks since it was mailed. She mailed another package to the same town on the same day and it arrived 2 weeks ago! 

Here’s what I have to say about our postal service lately. A great big raspberry!

We’re very thankful to all our friends and family that sent us cards, both snail mail and email.

Hey Millie, aren’t all our cards pretty?
I love seeing so many cards on our wall.

As usual we crushed our parents in the card count again this year.

The final card count is:

Millie & Walter

19 Snail Mail cards

14 e-cards

Total Card Count – 33

Mom & Dad

13 cards

Thanks for helping us beat our parents again this year.

We want to finish this post with a picture of just our cards so everyone that sent us one can try to find theirs (we even printed out all the email cards). Just click on the image to biggify it so you can see your card.

Look at all those beautiful cards.

We also want to thank our readers and friends that sent cards to The Ladiez of Beaglebratz Manor and their mom. All reports are that you helped to make their Christmas a little happier. 

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. I’m thankful that I have crochet to help distract me from scenes like what we saw in our nations capitol yesterday. This was going to be a Hooking on Hump day post but I couldn’t concentrate on writing it yesterday.

I’ve completed three more types of squares since I first showed you this project.

Columbine Square

My previous post showed the beginnings of this flower but not the completed columbine square. Each square has gotten a bit more difficult and requires a lot of work behind the flower part to create leaves and the background.

Clementine Square

The clementine also required you to do some surface crochet to add a little dimension and color to the flower. It doesn’t show very well but it’s there (the burgundy on the outside of the orange circle is one).

Purple Aster Square

I think the purple aster square is my favorite so far and probably because it has plenty of purple in it. Those of you that crochet might notice that almost every round until you get out to the background is a different color. That results in plenty of yarn tails that have to be sewn in! I’ve been doing the sewing after every few rounds because if not they can get tangled in your work.

Hollyhock Flower

I’m currently working on the hollyhock square and have completed the main flower and I’m now working on the outer leaves. I addition to working on the squares the designer has us working on a larger motif in sections. 

Acanthus motif

The acanthus will eventually be a rectangular shape with a few more leaves and some background to it. Except for the clementine we only need to make four of each of the squares but we have to make eight of these acanthus. I’m glad the designer spaced out the work for this one as it’s very a intimidating design. Her instructions are very clear and there are videos included to help you understand the process.

Completed Squares

I’m enjoying working on this project (except maybe for all those ends we have to weave in) and can’t wait to complete it. When I finish the hollyhock squares I can join all the motifs for the inner section and then add the inner border. I expect to show you that next time. If you are interested in finding more information on this blanket you can find it on the Janie Crow website.

Crochet is a wonderful stress relieving hobby and I’m glad I have it to help me on days like yesterday. I also am thankful for the ladies that join me on Zoom meetings weekly to craft together. Since we can’t meet in person like we used to do we now gather on Zoom and I’m thankful to have them join me.

I’m are joining Brian for the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

 

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. Today we are thankful for all our friends from near and far who send us cards each year.

Thanks for all our cards!

That picture was taken a few days ago so here is a picture of our cards as of today.

Christmas Card collection as of Christmas Eve

We printed out all our e-cards too so they could hang with our paper cards. This year as usual we beat our pawrents in the card count.

The current card count is:

Millie & Walter

13 Snail Mail cards

14 e-cards

Total Card Count – 27

Mom & Dad

12 cards

Two of our pawrents cards came from pet stores and one even had coupons inside. The coupons are probably okay since they will no doubt be used to buy us treats and toys. There might even be more cards coming since our postal service has been pretty slow this year and if so we will do an update.

If you weren’t part of the card exchange and didn’t receive a card from us here is our holiday card to all our readers.

Front

Back

We’re joining the Thankful Thursday blog hop and the Howliday Card blog hop and wish all our readers a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and a Happy New Year. We sure hope 2021 will finish better than this year has.

We are joining Brian for the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. I wanted to show you a new Christmas decoration I made.

Christmas Dachshund Quilt

I started this in a class during the 2019 Genesee Valley QuiltFest. The class was taught by Cynthia England and it helps to demonstrate her “picture piecing” technique. This pattern is called “Santa Pooch” and you can buy the pattern and fabric pack from her.

Close up of Head

The finishing instructions call for you to embroider the eye on the dog and it has you outline the white parts of the Santa hat to help them stand out. Charlie and I thought the outlining fell a little flat so I purchased some fluffy fleece from JoAnn Fabrics and added it to the hat instead.

Detail of Head with Fleece

Adding the fleece was quite fiddly but I managed to get it attached and I love how it turned out. I also added the little bell to his scarf which was part of the kit. I did most of the quilting using my embroidery machine.

Close up of the quilting

I used two embroideries from Embroidery Online by OESD. The straight border is called “Snow Quilt Border” and the corner is “Snow Quilt Corner”. Since the corner embroidery was a triangle shape and I needed it to have square edges to match the straight border, I used my embroidery software to extract a bit from the straight border to square them up. I also extracted one of the snow flakes and used that randomly in the white background. You can click on the above image to see the details. I also stitched in the ditch around the dog and the gift boxes with invisible thread.

Christmas Dachshund hanging above the fireplace

The fabric pack that came with the pattern had a different border fabric that I wasn’t crazy for so I found this perfect purple fabric to use instead. I love how it turned out and it makes a lovely addition to our holiday decorations.

 

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. This past Tuesday the weather looked good to catch a nice sunset on Lake Ontario at Webster Park so Charlie and I headed up there to take a look. Since December 1st the parking lot closest to the shore has been closed but there is room at the top of the driveway for a couple of cars to park there. So far we’ve been lucky to be able to park there and this time, for the first time since we could remember, there was nobody else in this area of the park. Usually there are always a few fishermen but thanks to the high waves and cold temps (it was about 30°F with a stiff wind) they stayed away! (Don’t forget to click on the pictures to see a bigger view)

The waves were crashing against the break wall

I’ve been waiting for a day just like this to try to capture the waves as they crash into the break wall. I set my camera on a tripod with my camera about 2 feet above the ground so it would be about eye level with the waves.

A large wave crests close to the wall.

In order to freeze the water in the air I set my aperture at f6.4, and my ISO at 1600 to achieve a shutter speed between 1/800th to 1/1000th of a second. Since you can’t really anticipate the exact moment when the perfect wave crash will occur I also set my camera to take high speed burst pictures (15 frames per second). In the 20 or so minutes I was taking pictures I managed to shoot about 700 pictures!

The sunset was the perfect background for the crashing waves

Here is a little video of the wave action that day.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Charlie captured this picture of the pier while I was shooting the crashing waves

I hope you enjoyed a different view of Lake Ontario at Webster Park this week.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. We heard that today is Christmas Card day. Now we like to wait until closer to Christmas to share ours with all of you but we do want to show you our display.

I don’t have to look at the camera if there aren’t treats!

Millie was the first to show up when Mom wanted to take some pictures but she always does her best to avoid looking at the camera.

I always pose nice for mom.

Don’t worry if you have sent your card and don’t see it yet. We took these pictures a couple of days ago and have received more since.

Are we almost done posing?
I don’t know but I hope we get a cookie for all this effort.

We can’t wait to see those ribbons behind us fill up with all kinds of cards from our friends all over the world. We would also love to see our friends help make a long time Blogville member who hasn’t been able to blog for a while get lots of cards too.

Do you remember Maizie & Shasta?

The Ladiez of Beaglebratz Manor haven’t been able to blog for a while since their mom’s eyesight has not been well enough to manage it. A couple of years ago Kim and her pups moved in with her sister to make life easier.

Maizie, Mom Kim and Shasta

In addition to her failing eyesight Mom Kim was diagnosed with cancer in late August. When our mom was preparing her Christmas card list this year she contacted Kim’s sister, who always posts for her on Facebook, to ask what her address was so we could send them a card. Her sister also said she would love it if we would share her address so we could help make Kim and her girl’s Christmas just a little brighter. If you would like to send them a card here is the address:

Kim Brooks, Shasta & Maizie
1738 SW Stone Crest Dr.
Topeka, KS 66615

If you would prefer to send an email card you can send it to us and we will deliver it to Kim’s sister. Just leave a comment letting us know you have an e-card to deliver and make sure your email address is included in your profile. Our mom will contact you via email to request your e-card for Kim and the girls and then send it along to them.

Let’s all help make Christmas shine for these great friends of Blogville.

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone. It’s Millie and Walter here. It’s been pretty gloomy here today but we’re looking back to one of the beautiful days we had here recently.

I love feeling the sun on my black fur.

There were still some colorful leaves on the shrubs too.

The barberry leaves behind me were so pretty.

Now we want to let you know about the Blogville Holiday Card exchange. Our friends at the LLB Gang are organizing this for us again so if you want to get in on the action you can read how by visiting their information page. Don’t delay in sending in your info because the deadline is this Wednesday, November 25th.

Look at all the cards we received last year!

We love giving and receiving cards from all our friends around the world and hope you will join us this year too. In case you are worried about how safe this might be this year because of the Covid-19 virus we checked the research and found that

“the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can live on paper for only a few minutes. The novel coronavirus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets after someone coughs or sneezes. It’s possible to spread from contaminated surfaces as well. After opening your mail and throwing away the envelopes, thoroughly wash your hands to be on the safe side.” (here is our source for that).

We hope you will join us in spreading a little holiday cheer this year. We certainly could all use it.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop. You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies. Thanks for stopping by.

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