Sweater Weather

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My Backyard

My backyard in Indiana facing the woods and a quarry hill during winter.

This is a picture right outside my bedroom, looking into my backyard.

I saw the sun, opened the slider, and took an iPhone pic. (5 that is..not the greatest camera, but I try.) I have a Canon Rebel, but I dropped it and messed up my wide lens, so I only have the telephoto to use now and sometimes that can be tricky as I have to back up to Michigan to capture anything, ha.

But, these clouds, right? Seeing two layers, just behind and higher above the trees, caught my eye right as the SUN CAME OUT! Yes, the SUN! Did I say the SUN?!!!

Yes, we get occasional sun, but when it’s 30 degrees it’s kind of hard to go OUTSIDE and stay OUTSIDE to enjoy it like you want to enjoy sun.

Although, I did go back to the creek (just behind those trees) to capture some photos as the snow was falling, and waded the creek, and stayed out till the sun went down and my fingers were red and reaching a hypothermic state.

I will have those pics next time. They need editing and this darned eye disease is giving me fits since returning home from Florida. UGH!

But, I captured some cool shots. Many times they hit Instagram first, so if you want to follow my IG there is a link here on my sidebar and below.

ENJOY!

*PS Hubby made it to his hotel and before the snow hit Maryland real hard. YAY!

HOPE and the Beach

Only home a second day from Panama City Beach, and I’m already thinking about how to move to the south, sooner!

Panama City Beach, Florida Holiday Inn Resort

I have a countdown going on in my head.

See, Hubby can retire in three years, and my grandkids are sure to arrive in the next few years. There might be a slight problem in that my son just got married and lives here, in Indiana, but my daughter is in Georgia and was married in 2015.

I guess it’s a race to see who has their kids first. 😉



If you’re at all interested in my fam…here’s my daughter’s wedding video. And a post about the wedding day: HERE

 

derek-and-heidi-wedding

And, we just got my son’s video!:  HERE



Regardless, I just can’t handle winters, anywhere, anymore! Even if my kids didn’t live in the south, I would eventually have to move there, for sure.

Or Hawaii.

I LOVED Hawaii. It was like the Garden of Eden.

I’m still trying to talk my husband into retiring there, as well. 😉

Okay, so a loaf of bread costs $5.oo.

Hanalei Bay Resort in Kauai Hawaii with beautiful flowers and trees overlooking the ocean.

INDIANA WEATHER

Don’t get me wrong, I love the change of seasons and the area where we live is known for its vivid, fall colors.

As for winter, I actually love the snow and don’t mind the cold here.

It IS pretty and it does make it feel more like the holiday season has arrived.

Some of my favorite times are going out to take pictures at night when the snow has fallen. It’s SO peaceful.

⌈The neighbor’s house.⌋

My neighbor's house in the snow in Indiana

Heck, I’ve even been known to run errands without a coat during 37º days…menopause or no menopause.

The cold, winter woods after a big snow.

And when this little, Cali girl visited grandparents one midwestern winter, she was totally obsessed with seeing snow, playing in the snow, laying in the snow…not coming in from the snow, period.

I even have fond memories, while living in southern California, of my dad driving us up to the mountains of Big Bear. We’d drive around for hours listening to Christmas carols hoping to see even one flake of falling snow.

We were thrilled to find on one particular visit there was enough snow for snowball fights and sledding. Sledding down steep mountainsides ladened with huge, snow drifts jumping a foot or two in the air and then careening down onto curvy mountain roadways. (My brother actually hit a parked, car’s wheel that trip. That wheel kept him from going under the car and over the mountain cliff. TRUE STORY.)

So the past winters have been fun, but not anymore… they are really taking a toll on me now!



PRAYING/FIGHTING for HOPE

Sadly, my body has developed worsening health “issues” where the winter just really does a number on my eyes and skin, (diseases) and it’s getting worse each year. Truly, these last eight years have been a literal HELL for me, with the last three almost unbearable. The pain has been torturous. Pure. Torture.

Yep, my hope has waned, many times.

I have continually prayed for God to restore my hope especially when the pain didn’t let up for months on end. And prayed he would protect my sanity. (Those with chronic illness/disease or chronic pain will get this.)

And I have to continually fight my mind about looking too far into the future because my 40s & 50s have been the toughest years of my life. I have to tell myself to refocus and just live out today. Many times it’s been a refocusing minute by minute, quite literally.

I have to determine to lean into God hard, TODAY, and praise Him for what I can find that’s good, TODAY.

It’s not easy, I assure you.



HEALING in the SUN

So, hubby suggested a break from winter.

My eyes and skin started feeling better within a couple of days and thankfully, I didn’t have any major reactions like my last trip- uh, YAY!

Just not having that forced heat hit me all day, brought much relief and healing. And leaving the bleak, cold, overcast days just felt GOOD for the soul.

It wasn’t an easy drive for me, with this continual back pain, (It’s been a year now.) but I was sick of so many gloomy days I finally said, “I’ll chance the drive; let’s get outta here!”

I was glad in the end that we made that L O N G, 11.5 hr., drive. (I would’ve rather flown but it allowed me to use all my heating pads, medical devices, etc.. Boy, I sound OLD! (I’m a walking medical lab, now. ha.)

And luckily, my daughter and her husband were able to drive over from GA, joining us for two days. So, it was great to see them, too.

morgan-and-logan

Playing with the sand, feeling the warmth of the sun soaking in, and just having face-to-face conversations with my daughter, just the two of us, as we waded in the water was just what the doctor ordered.

I also realized this was the FIRST time, in YEARS, I could go on a vacation and not fear the sun due to getting off my immune suppressing drug. YAY!!!!!  (*Sun exposure is not allowed due to skin cancer risks.)

That alone makes a vaca a VACA! 🙂

beach-pic

Seashell and hope bracelet found on Panama City Beach, Florida

Digression: I bought this bracelet one night at a restaurant and earlier that morning found this cute, little shell… had to dig down into the water to grab it before I got knocked over by a wave. My daughter was right by my side when I spotted it. 🙂

Didn’t find any more shells quite this perfect. 😉



REALITY

Now we’re back.

And the heat is blowing.

And my sweats and socks are back on. 😦

(going from shorts to sweats=just not cool)

I’m physically suffering again. UGGH.

Yeah, I might have (or might not have) told my husband I may be moving ahead of him.

I leave you with the sights and sounds of the beach. ENJOY!

 

 

 

Birds of Indiana

Only in Indiana can you go from frigid temps and snow, to breezy and sixty-degrees all in 24 hours. bird fighting the snow and cold in IndianaI took a pic of this lil’ guy hunkering down and later tomorrow, I’m sure he’ll be sunbathing and wearing sandals, ha!

Here’s another guy looking for food…

img_3777

birdwinter-bird1

cardinal eating seed in the winter snow

This Time, Two Years Ago, We Weren’t Supposed to Be Outside!

Facebook recently reminded me of our winter “adventure” back in 2014.

Around this date, we had lots of snow, extreme icing, and a deadly wind chill. The state was under an emergency winter alert where no one was allowed to go out as the wind chill had dropped so low you’d risk freezing your skin off. Sections of interstates were closed down, and travel was restricted to emergency personnel only.

“A powerful storm system brought heavy snow and near blizzard conditions to much of central Indiana on January 5, with a mix of rain and snow across southeast sections of the area. After the snow diminished during the evening, arctic air plunged into the area on strong winds. Temperatures plummeted and significant blowing and drifting of snow occurred. Temperatures remained below zero for over 24 hours at many locations, with wind chills around 40 below zero at times. Temperatures reached levels that had not been seen in 20 years. The snow and cold created dangerous travel conditions across much of Indiana and surrounding areas. Sections of interstates were closed down, and travel was restricted to emergency personnel only. Schools were closed for a week across parts of central Indiana.”-weather.gov

However, this was all we got the other day; it is the most snow we’ve had to date, but not nearly as bad as 2014.

I was also reminded that week my son just happened to be stranded at a hotel up in Indianapolis, during a state youth conference. They were trying to get food to their room and everyone was huddled together risking running to their cars for items. He told us the minute they attempted a short run, they couldn’t feel their face.

And of course, my son brought not ONE winter clothing item with him.

Hat? Gloves? Scarf? NOPE.

Of course not…ugh…

He’s a guy in his 20s, am I right?! :/


I also had my daughter visiting from Georgia. She was quickly reminded why she moved south, to begin with.  She NEVER has liked Indiana weather.

It has always rained on her birthday. Overcast skies made her sad. Easter egg hunting was usually out.

Yeah, visiting her cousins (in the south) made me lose my youngest at an early age. She graduated from high school and off she went!

So, I was secretly happy that she couldn’t leave, perhaps for days! 🙂

The Scrabble games we had started ended up being a week-long tourney!

I never played so much Scrabble in ALL.MY.LIFE!!!

My husband played most of his life, so he’s an expert  Nazi about the rules.

Luckily, we still had power while others did not.

And food.

You always need food.

But, we had to go rescue the son and brave the slick roads, as we weren’t so sure his car would do well on the ice. And, we had to move the car as the daily parking was racking up fast!

That trip should’ve taken 2 hrs (roundtrip), but it was MUCH LONGER at a creep.

We all safely arrived back home for more Scrabble.

Then, Facebook pictures started leaking out as to how hard they all had it up there stranded in that horrible, awful, Indianapolis hotel.

derek-stranded-at-hotel-in-2014


When I first moved from California, we experienced the blizzard of ’78. What a shock that was for us southern Cali kids! I remembered going out with my dad to rescue people trapped in their homes unable to leave their driveways. He had a big plow on the front of his truck, and he’d just lower his huge blade down the middle of the highway. We were the only ones on the road. It was kind of eery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFaVwg8K8xo&t=89s  

As of right now, the temps continue to be down right frigid but I don’t think we’ll see much more snow this week.

So, as much as I love the look of the new, fallen, snow, I’m also thinking it’s time we also looked south. These winters are just killing my skin and eyes, and it is not fun. (Yeah, I wasn’t made for dry winters, if you’ve read my health blog, I’m basically a lizard.)

I’m actually thinking I wasn’t really made for this EARTH…always something.

Even when it’s 13 degrees out, my house is still set at 62º because this forced heat is just a killin’ me!


Now my son is married and looking to move south as well.

I’m thinking my first grandkids might be in Georgia…the south is callin’ my name! 😉

Hubby cannot retire soon enough!

Countdown.

Please tell me it's time to fly south bird poster.

First Snow Here in Our Parts

I’m finally up and moving after a horrible virus that lasted almost 2 weeks. My second virus since Sept.

So, I’m back to writing, some.

But it is COLD OUTSIDE.

snow falling on pine trees in Indiana

We had our first, big snow here in Indiana, and it’s presently 28 degrees.

With my skin and eye disease, though, I’m keeping the vents shut down; therefore, my poor hubby is freezing at 66 degrees.

Whatever…MY room is a mere 62.


I shot a video today of the snow falling in my backyard set to a tune on my new, favorite Christmas album.

It’s Jordan Smith’s Christmas album. He was The Voice winner, last season, and I love it! It’s entitled Tis the Season.

GO BUY IT. YOU WON’T BE SORRY.

I’m SUPER picky about my Christmas music. I only like listening to what I heard as a kid. Maybe it has something to do with the memories, but I usually only like the oldies, old crooners; you know, the original artists.

I learned, long ago, if I were to buy a CD from a modern artist, I’d end up HATING the renditions of my favorite songs. (Nobody sings it like Bing or Nat.)

So, this is a FIRST for me to like ANYONE else singing my classics.

But, it is AWWWEEESOMMEEE!


Tonight is another finale on The Voice.

I’m presently rooting for Billy Gilman.

Remember him?

He had a hit, as a kid back in 2000, with One Voice; I thought he was amazing way back then:

.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NlT-ELVWk0

He is STILL amazing!!

If you’re a singer, you know just what it takes to do all that he does with his voice!

Here’s what he’s sung on the show:

More found here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Billy+gilman

We find out tonight who wins!!

Are you watching The Voice?

As you know from my “ABOUT ME” page, I grew up all things music. Took voice lessons, played instruments, sang with my mom, in groups, etc..

So music shows are my thang.


Do you watch? Who are you pulling for?

Do/did you play an instrument/sing?

Let me know in the comments!!

If you like jazz, here’s another slide show with my winter pics:

Stay Warm!

Layering clothes and trying to look good at fifty-three.