Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust ...

Wow, where did the time go? Exactly one year ago today, the insomniac  was seated in front of this very computer, drinking her New Year's Eve beverage of choice for the evening - an Eggnog Paralyzer - and debating whether to participate in The Curious Professor Z's 2015 BatFit.

And it seems like only yesterday the insomniac  and the youngest were both exclaiming in horror, “Tomorrow is New Year's Eve!” albeit for vastly different reasons. The youngest texting anyone and everyone, pleading for a ride into the city so she wouldn't be forced to spend tonight with persons notorious for not being able to stay awake past 10:30 p.m. for almost thirty years now - the incentive of a sixth night of turkey leftovers not lessening her resolve to make her exit as swiftly as possible in the slightest. And the insomniac  because she had a nagging suspicion she hadn't completed all of her BatFit goals yet ...

Be a better blogger.
Beat 2014's posts by six, for a total of thirteen whopping blog posts in 2015. Woot. Woot.

Finish Nightwind's coat.
Done!


Take the camera off the Automatic setting and actually learn how to use it properly.
One has decided she's perfectly content to leave the camera on Automatic after capturing this photo, which she considers to be a personal best.


Start baking bread again.
Although Professor Z's comment about that particular goal was, “Bread is life! Bread is nourishment!” she was likely imagining the insomniac  planned on baking loaves of healthy whole-grain bread when she said it. But in this household, anything that contains yeast is referred to as bread. And “bread” was baked every Sunday morning from January right up until April, when we were forced to stop because everyone's pants were getting too tight.


Spend more time in the Four Seasons Sunroom, drinking coffee and watching wildlife.
Nailed it.



Learn how to knit cables.
Oopsie. There it is.

So the socks that were started on Christmas Day were put aside, as was the scarf that was started on Boxing Day, and a relatively easy pattern found on the internet explaining how to make an Owl Coffee Cozy with Cables. And work began on the first cozy. Yesterday. Around 2:00 p.m.


Because it was such a fun and quick project, and not terribly difficult as there were only three rows requiring the use of a cable holder, the insomniac  had enough time to whip up a second cozy in pink. Although neither is cast off particularly nicely, after a full year of making only socks and mittens it hasn't been necessary to master the art of casting off. One can claim to have mastered the Kitchener Stitch used to close up the toes and tips of socks and mittens though. 


Although the instructions indicate they are meant to be used as Coffee Cozies, there are no Starbucks* in the Spooky Forest where their usefulness could be tested, necessitating a drive into town this morning for a rather enormous breakfast of bacon, eggs, bacon, hash-browns, bacon and toast, all washed down with plenty of coffee served in real mugs - also unsuitable for this particular style of cozy. Afterwards, the insomniac  enlisted help from two of her favourite people at the Texas Gate ...

Ronda and Jackie demonstrating proper usage
of an Owl Beer Koozie ...

Learn how to knit cables.
Nailed it.

And as she slouches in front of the computer again this evening, debating whether it's too early to have yet another of her new  favourite holiday drink for this year - a maple-flavoured whiskey called Sortilege (because Eggnog Paralyzers are so last year) - she has come up with a few new goals for Bat Fit 2016:

  1. Spend a little less time in the Four Seasons Sunroom, drinking coffee and watching wildlife.
  2. Start baking “bread” again. Beginning this Sunday and ending sometime in April when everyone's pants get too snug.
  3. Master the art of a decent-looking cast off.
  4. Be a better blogger.

And to all you dedicated readers who have stuck it out for another twelve months - your only reward being a paltry thirteen posts and an occasional giveaway - thanks for hanging around. No seriously, it means a lot. And no, that is not sarcasm. It really does.

A special thank-you to all the new readers over in Russia, who have been misdirected to the Attic via some circuitous route and arrive here expecting to find porn - only to discover a blog about knitting and baking and how to decorate your taxidermy for the holidays. Sorry about that.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA


* In all honesty, that's a crock - there actually is a Starbucks in Cochrane. But if a person is going to spend $5 on a beverage, she'd far rather spend it on beer than coffee. A decent cup of coffee can be made at home.

     5. Learn how to make beer at home ...


67 comments:

  1. I loved your wrap-up on this blog post. I hope to see a blog post on the micro-brewery that you've started in your basement in the near future. I also foresee beer-bread recipes ♥ Happy New Year, my friend.

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    1. I may have to add a disclaimer that the last one was a joke, Vermont Deadline. I'm not sure we have the funds to start our own micro-brewery. Beer bread recipes I can do though! LOL

      And a very happy New Year to you too! ♥

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    2. Duly noted, my friend. Above all else, continue writing. Your sharp wit and interesting topics keep me coming back. ♥

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    3. Thank you, Denise. You are too kind. ♥

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  2. While 2015 was ever so much better than 2014, I am hopeful that 2016 will be even better. I have no specific goals other than to attempt to get more exercise. Notice I said "attempt". I thoroughly enjoyed all of your posts during 2015 and look forward to 2016, where I foresee copious amounts of beer, coffee, and cinnamon rolls. And stuffed crows. Lots of those too. Happy New Year!

    P.S. You could see Russia from your blog too? I think we must live closer than originally thought.

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    1. I'm going to attempt that exercise thing myself, although I hate putting it down in writing ... it's just too much of a commitment. The spouse dragged me out for a walk today - up hills and down hills and I needed a nap afterwards. LOL

      The cinnamon rolls start on Sunday! The invites have been sent! Beer, coffee, baked goods, Wing Wednesdays, stuffed crows, Sortilege - these are only a few of my favourite things. I like lots of stuff - not exercise though - I don't like that at all. A very Happy New Year to you, Debbi! ♥

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  3. That's an awesome idea, to look back and see how you did before setting new goals!
    Happy new year to you!
    And thanks for the sweet bass guitar line that's playing in my head because of the title. ;)

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    1. It definitely forces me to complete the goals, Globöb Oboglöb! And I think that's a good thing for a procrastinator like me. ;)

      Happy New Year to you, and I was humming it all night long too. :)

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  4. Another fantastic post! You may not post as often as some, but you've got the quality nailed. And that photo of the owl is absolutely incredible. Wishing you all the best for the year ahead!

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    1. Awwwww thank you, Amy. That's so sweet of you. ♥

      I love that owl photo. I was sitting in the sunroom that evening and couldn't figure out why the deer on the front lawn kept looking up so nervously. I went outside and there he was, up in the tree hooting away. It was one of those rare moments when the light was just perfect - I was pretty excited! Boy, I really need to get a life. ;)

      All the very best to you in 2016! :)

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    2. Taking a spectacular picture of a great horned owl is a life. I know - I hang out with birders.

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    3. I'm seriously going to have to remember to add a space for you at the top of the comment section, lady M. I thought I'd never figure out where you were!

      I might be in danger of becoming a birder, too. I've just added two new videos to Instagram today of nuthatches and chickadees, and I'm thinking about buying a forehead mounted video camera tomorrow when I'm in the city so I can make a little movie about them. Good grief, talk about needing to get a life! :D

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    4. Do you get boreal chickadees there as well as black capped chickadees? Boreal's have a brown capped head.

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    5. Yes, we do! We had quite a few last year, but I only ever got one to eat from my hand. They seem much shyer than black capped and mountain chickadees. This year I've only seen three so far - I'm not sure why so few.

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    6. That is awesome. That would be a lifer for me. I was just in the Sax Zim bog in northern Minnesota looking for them with no luck. A lifer is birding lingo for bird you see for the first time in your life, not a convict serving a life sentence.

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    7. Haha, good to know! I don't know if you're on Instagram lady M, but that's where I post all my little videos of me feeding the birds. You might be the only person in the world who actually enjoys them. ;)

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  5. Learning to use the settings on one's camera is SO overrated. If you can manipulate the automatic settings to achieve what you want, what's the difference? Besides, we can take as many photos as we want in digital without worrying about the cost of processing dozens of near-misses, like we used to with film. I was once a shutter speed and f-stop kind of gal, with bounce flash and tripod, when I used film way back in the old days, and I'm totally over that now.

    One of the highlights for me this year was stumbling across your blog, scrolling backward in time, falling in love with your style and your heart. Happy New Year, Darling, and may 2016 be all that you want it to be.

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    1. Is it? So I don't have to feel guilty about it any more then, Hartwood Roses? Thank goodness. I feel like such a poseur. Poser. Whatever that word is. ;) I do remember the days of countless dollars spent on pictures that didn't quite work, which was really disappointing if you'd been on a trip overseas and entire rolls of film didn't turn out as expected!

      I'm so glad you stumbled upon me, and I'm glad to have stumbled over you too! Not literally, you understand. I'm a little choked up here reading that you've fallen in love with my heart. Seriously, I'm actually really choked up. And no, that is not sarcasm.

      I wish you nothing but wonderful things in 2016, Connie. ♥

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  6. Happy New Year! clever insomniac! Perfect beer cosies! Especially in winter! You nailed it! I agree, coffee or beer? That's not even a question! Hahah
    I have slacked sooooo bad on all that helps my reality barely amusing. That must change, and on my list!
    Love the coat! and your photo's .....perfect!
    So feet up, deep breath and march onward new friend! I still laugh out loud at the number... " 2016"! Science fiction or what!
    Take care of you! xoDebi

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    1. I'll have to save the koozies for the summertime - you know how I don't like drinking cold beverages in the winter! LOL

      I'm glad you've made a list of things to do that make you happy. It's sooooo important for our mental health. It's often hard to make time for them but I always feel so much better when I do. :)

      I know, right? 2016? And sixty years old? I never thought I'd see the day. A very wonderful 2016 to you, Debi. ♥

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    2. I'm 63, you are in THE COOLEST! Generation EVER! Keep being FABULOUS! xo

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  7. I just noticed that I'm not the only one who has no idea how to properly use her camera and keeps the thing on automatic all the time. You know what, I had no real resolution for 2016... But now I'll spend some time with my camera, getting to know each other. ;-)

    Happy New Year! ♥

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    1. Hartwood Roses (see above comment) says learning how to use all the settings on one's camera is seriously overrated. So I'm going with that. I'll concentrate on perfecting my casting off instead. ;)

      A very happy New Year to you, Magaly! ♥

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    2. Damn. And here I was all excited about finding my camera manual again.

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    3. You should totally look through your camera manual, Magaly. Don't be a slacker like me. ;)

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  8. You may not be the most prolific blogger in the blogosphere, but your posts are of the highest quality! Your writing style and sense of humour always keep me laughing! Happy New Year!

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    1. Oh that's nice to hear! Although I probably shouldn't let three months lapse between posts like I did this summer. I think people forget about you if you pull that stunt too often. :)

      A very wonderful 2016 to you and yours, Debra! ♥

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  9. I always find it interesting how quickly times seems to fly when I'm looking backward. Look ahead for something though, like the arrival of spring and the end of cold weather, and time seems to stand still.

    A Happy New Year to you, Insomniac!

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    1. I think, being older than you, that I'm now finding time is flying by too quickly no matter which way I'm looking. Eeeeep. So many things to accomplish yet. :)

      A very lovely New Year to you as well, Nightwind. ♥

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  10. Great post, GREAT owl pic, and I LOVE your message to the Russion porn seekers, hehehe!! I'd love to have read some of their messages. ::snigger::

    May 2016 be a wonderful year for one and all!

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    1. Thank you, Lucretia! I thought the Russians were gone there for a while because the Blogger stats dropped back to their normal levels. But just lately they've been creeping up again. Oh well, at least it makes me look more popular. ;)

      I hope your 2016 is wonderful, too - I think of you often. ♥

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  11. Happy New Year Insomniac! Another fun reading post to start out the new year, perfect!

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    1. Happy New Year to you and Belinda, Mark! I can hardly wait to see what you guys come up with this year. I'm still giving serious consideration to attempting something like Requiem for our stairwell, and get rid of that stuffy old Victorian vase and peacock feathers. Although I'm really liking those crow guys too ... tough choice. :)

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    2. LOL! That would be cool! But wait, aren't you suppose to be working on a steampunk toe pincher coffin? Funny as it sounds, ever since you joked about that I keep envisioning doing something like that. It would be so unique! ;) Have a great year my friend!

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    3. Yes. Yes, I am. I just have to print out your measurements and I'll get the spouse to make it for me, then I'll be in charge of the decorating. I think a pair of candelabras from an old piano we had might end up on there, and I still like the idea of a stained glass viewing window. ;)

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  12. Quality over quantity, right?
    I don't mind waiting, you and your posts are worth the waits ;)
    Cheers to a new year!
    Man I wish I knocked off that many things from 2015 list! Lol.

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    1. Yeah, but I'm not even sure if it's even quality sometimes, Madame MM. ;)

      The 2015 list might look impressive but the only one that took longer than an hour was Nightwind's coat. I'm pretty sure you crossed more things off your to-do list than I did mine! I seem to have spent an awful lot of time this year making things that didn't sell. LOL

      Here's to a wonderful year for you as well! ♥

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  13. Beer has yeast. Beer is bread?

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    1. I believe you're right! :) P.S. I'm really enjoying your story!

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  14. Happy New Year Lynne! Thirteen posts in twelve months is good going by my reckoning. I spotted the eagle eyed reader named Leslie who rightly pointed out that beer contains yeast, so could possibly be considered baking by your standards. Tight pants not withstanding. Perhaps you could jog to town to work off the calories? And holy cow, you have moose in your yard? I'd be gawping out the window 24/7. I love your new Instagram feed, especially the short videos you post of the circus you have round the Gothic Cottage. All the best in 2016.

    Ali

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    1. I remember the days when I used to be able to crank out one blog post per week. Those days (and the days of a 27" waist) are long gone, I'm afraid. :)

      We had this particular moose for about three weeks during the summer. And then he just disappeared, as do most of the hoofed creatures around here when hunting season starts. I'm hoping he'll come back this winter, but maybe this is just his summer stomping grounds. It was very cool watching his antlers grow daily!

      The circus pictures are fun to do ... constant entertainment! Someone asked if I thought I'd ever be bored living out here. I seriously doubt it.

      Happy New Year and all wonderful things for you and your OH, Ali! ♥

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  15. Yay, New Years at the Spooky Cottage! The owl picture is indeed fabulous.

    I must confess I STILL take pictures with the automatic setting. But that's our secret ;)

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    1. Well, a pretty boring New Year's according to some, Tilda.

      I've actually made some camera progress this year - not only do I use the Automatic Setting but now I also use the Low Key setting, too! Adds that moody look I like for the blog. But don't worry - your secret is safe with me. ;)

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  16. You are absolutely right, I need far more than thirteen posts a year of your wit and Style! I also want more interior shots of the new Spooky Cottage since 2016 I'll be dedicated to FINALLY unpacking everything from the Move and getting busy with my own new digs and Hopefully finalizing a Sale on the Old Homestead? *winks* Your New Year's making folks want to Escape tickled me because I'm quite certain that is why the Young Prince bailed on us. *LOL* The Man and I did make it to Midnight together this year... dozing off only a couple of time before the ball dropped on Times Square and then saying, "Okay, that was so underwhelming to fight staying up for, now lets go to bed!" *ha ha ha* Happy New Year my Friend... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Haha, I was just thinking that thirteen was a very good number of posts for me - not too many that I felt overwhelmed with having to come up with new ideas! I will do a post about building our house in the New Year, as we've finally got some decent (professional!) photos, and I think enough time has elapsed that I can write about it now. **winks** I'm still downsizing if you can believe it. 2016 is my year to organize the basement - I'm pretty sure we don't need to keep camping equipment anymore. ;)

      Yeah, I can't remember the last time one of the offspring wanted to spend New Year's with us. And we actually made it until midnight too, but only because we had company up until 11:30 to keep us awake! Happy New Year to you, Dawn! :D

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  17. Oh my god - I can comment like a normal person - you fixed it you clever, clever woman! Where to begin? Those cinnamon rolls look amazing. Sunday mornings at your place must be swell. And those owl coffee/beer cozies are too cute but not as great as that great horned owl in the tree. The lighting is just perfect. What a gorgeous picture. All 13 posts were well worth the read. You are a great blogger - you're always laugh out loud funny and your pictures beautifully taken even on the automatic setting. And now that I can comment - best blog ever. Have a great 2016 and looking forward to all the offerings from the attic! Can't wait to see how its gonna get better. Cheers!

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    1. Yes, I am such a clever person with all things computer related, lady M. Actually, I couldn't tell you what happened as I didn't do a thing! Maybe it was a Blogger problem and they fixed it? Whatever the reason, I'm glad neither of us have to rely on my memory to hold a spot for you at the top of the comments any more. :)

      Sunday morning IS swell! Yesterday we ate ourselves into a stupor and then I sent home a load of the leftover Christmas cookies with our company. Apparently, the shelf life of my baked goods isn't great in their household as they were gone by last night. :)

      Well, the cozies are crap but at least I met my goal. The owl picture was very exciting for me! And I did check out a Go-Pro today while I was in the city but they're $179 so I think I'll have to forget about that. Too bad - I had an awesome idea to make a short film about “The Birds” and I had some really good ideas, too! Well, I thought they were good ideas. LOL

      OH NO - you're expecting the blog to get better in 2016? The pressure! I hope you have a wonderful 2016 too, and I'm excited to see all the goings-on in your household as well. ♥

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    2. Oh no - only a temporary fix for blogger - it is back to the big blank rectangle that will not allow me to type or nuttin. Oh well! I would love to see your birds film being a birder myself.

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    3. Oh wait - how strange. If I publish a comment, it gives me the normal box at the bottom. So if you see a publish and then deleted commentyou'll know I am just trying to get a normal comment box. Hell, that doesn't make much sense but you'll get the gist when you see it.

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    4. You are a dedicated commenter, lady M. I'd have given up by now. :)

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  18. Oh, wonderful post!! I think your owl beer koozies are ingenious! The bottles are always so cold :-). Learing to make your own beer is a great descision. I think your wildlife spotting is amazing. The animals gets so close to you, not scared at all.

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    1. Thank you, linnea-maria! I just saw a pattern somewhere for a knitted beer mitten - I think I'm going to have to check that out further. ;)

      I was actually kidding about making my own beer. I doubt I'll get around to doing that! I have enough hobbies I don't dedicate nearly enough time on to take on another new one. LOL

      They aren't scared of me, but I'm pretty terrified of them! :D

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  19. If I had a four seasons sunroom I'd never leave it! What an awesome space.

    My mum knitted me some mittens very similar to yours for my hands but beer mittens is a much more awesome idea :)

    Have a super new year.

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    1. That four seasons sunroom is a blessing and a curse, breakingtheangel. I LOVE that room, but the only thing that is practical to do while sitting in there is knit and watch the wildlife. So that's all I ever accomplish - knitted beer koozies, socks and mittens - and the house projects like finishing the stained glass in the kitchen cupboards, tiling the bathroom and laundry room, staining the countertops, etc. that I should be working on don't even get touched! LOL

      You have a wonderful year, too. I really loved that phrase Gentle Progress. I wish that for you. :)

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  20. That-coat-is-amazing! Did you use a machine for the embroidery?! And well, I don't think our professor would mind a bit of sugar sometimes :-D And for the 'beer cozy' those were a requirement! I can deal with hot things in my hands but hate the feel of cold glass bottles, even in summer!
    Hope you will have a great start to 2016!

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    1. Thank you! Although I still feel pretty disappointed in how the coat turned out, despite having ripped out the original embroidery and redoing it. I did it by hand using a DMC metallic thread, and I think I'll probably try doing some velvet table mats with cobwebs using the same thread this year. Maybe I'll like them better. :)

      I actually hadn't given serious thought to using those cozies at all, but maybe I will as I agree with you ... I love wrapping my hands around a nice hot cup of coffee but not so much around a cold bottle of beer!

      A wonderful 2016 to you too, Ramona! :)

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  21. I am pretty sure the owls are much happier when wrapped around beer bottles not take-away coffee! :D

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  22. GAh! I am jealous of your Four Seasons Sun Room and your wildlife! I am particularly jealous of that owl, and have just made a resolution (resolved?) to lure one to my property (just to spy on and listen to. Not to eat, or anything of such lurid nature.). Thanks for the inspiration - and your awesome blog!

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    1. The sunroom is pretty wonderful, except on days like today when it was -26C ... not even the portable space heater helps on those days. ;)

      We have lots of owls around here, but I'm seldom lucky enough to have a camera on me when I see them! The same evening I got this picture, I also got one of a young Great Grey Owl, but they didn't turn out nearly as well. And I'd never think you were going to lure one to your place for eating, Lulu M! We leave little dead rodents on our fence posts to bring them around ... you could try that? LOL

      I'm thrilled you like the blog - thank you! ♥

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  23. Heh heh ... we started no. 5 on the weekend!

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    1. No way, Michelle - that's freaking awesome! I'll expect videos ... tasting videos!! LOL

      I've just started rearranging the basement yesterday, trying to figure out where I can do my stained glass projects since I've come to the sad conclusion we'll never be able to come up with the funds to finish my studio above the garage. Oh, boohoo - first world problems, right? How much extra room do I need to set aside down there for the beer-making equipment? :)

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  24. Love your wildlife photos and so envy you your sun room. Don't think I would ever leave ti.

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    1. Thank you, Fran! I don't like leaving it either, but it's getting to the point where I don't get anything else done if I don't! LOL

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  25. Learning how to use the camera on manual mode, that's actually one of my current goals :P I'd love to be able to knit too, but I'm already learning so many new things right now that I don't think it would be a good idea to add another to the mix xD

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    1. I really am not much of a photographer, Margaret - more of a spur-of-the-moment point and shoot kind of person. So I've given myself “permission” to not learn any more than the basic automatic settings that I really like, and I'm totally fine with that!

      As for knitting, this year's goal is to get better at fair-isle knitting and make a couple of sweaters for myself and the spouse - something where the back doesn't look a total mess! I agree with you though, that learning too many new things in a year is sometimes too much.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

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