My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, January 3, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: Birthday Gifts

Each day comes bearing its gifts.
Untie the ribbons.
~ Ann Ruth Schabacker

How fun that this year my birthday coincides with SkyWatch Friday, something Mother Nature must have realized because after a lot of drab morning skies lately, this was "my" gorgeous birthday sunrise this morning! A lovely gift... 


I didn't intend to post all three of these next photos since they're so similar, but couldn't choose which one(s) to delete! So I'm using my birthday as an excuse to be self-indulgent and keep them all! :-) ...


I didn't even notice it when I took these, but I love how that group of trees seem to be holding up the small cloud!



Untie the ribbons on the gifts of more beautiful skies at...

This is also a perfect time to share my birthday gift from my talented quilting friend Joanne, which I teasingly mentioned in my post about Jo's visit in October, which is when she gave it to me (I love birthdays that are spread out over months like that, lol). 

Some of you may remember this photo I took of a rose last June...


Well, Joanne used that photo in a Thread Painting class she took, and made this wonderful birthday gift of the gorgeous results!


I love all the rich detail...


Even the raindrops showed up on the print!...


Joanne!

The always-wonderful BW took today off (especially nice since his hours at UPS continue to be gruesome) and as I write this he's in the kitchen preparing my favorite birthday cake, Ginger Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze (whose tantalizing photo and recipe link can be found here). After it has baked I plan to clone him and sell the clones on eBay for boatloads of money (lol) and then we plan to take the girls for a good walk before more winter weather hits later today, and then it's off to enjoy lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants (I haven't decided which one yet, the one with the delicious veggie burrito or the one with the delicious veggie fajitas! Tough choice, especially since both restaurants make kickass margaritas!) :-)


Wishing you all a great first Friday of 2014, a Happy New Year (what's left of it, lol), and a fun weekend! 

44 comments:

  1. Happy Belated Birthday!1 Your sky shots are all beautiful.. Thanks for sharing.. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen - and your wishes were right on time, not belated at all! Enjoy your weekend too, stay warm!!

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  2. Happy happy birthday!! Nature certainly gave you quite a beautiful start to the day. So gorgeous!

    The quilt that Jo made is SO fantastic! She really does some wonderful work and what a thoughtful, creative gift.

    Enjoy your cake and dinner out!

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    1. Thank you, Molly! Yes, Nature not only gave me a beautiful start to the day, but a whole lot of variety to it as well. When we left for our walk with the dogs it was cold, cloudy and windy. By the time we were on our way home (and we weren't gone THAT long), the sun was shining, the wind had quit, and I'd shed both jacket and gloves and unzipped my sweatshirt and still felt hot!! And by the time we left the restaurant, the wind was howling and it was raining, which turned to snow by supper time. So I had a little bit of everything! :-)

      Jo can never go wrong by giving me any of her handiwork. And I'm getting quite a collection! I'd never heard of thread painting before and think it's really cool! I found some other pretty examples on, guess where.. lol. She also thread painted one of my crabapple blossom photos and kept that one for herself (I got to choose which one I wanted), but I neglected to take a photo of it. They were both really beautiful!

      The cake was delicious, btw, and we went with fajitas which were very good (but ack, so much oil!) - the margaritas, however, were a huge disappointment and I'd been looking so forward to it. So BW said he'd make me a classic margarita this weekend. Maybe to go with pizza and playoffs today? :-)

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    2. Btw, you guys stay warm!! That forecast for your neck of the woods looks just terrible!

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  3. Happy, happy birthday. The sunrise is supreme, but that quilt has me drooling. So much talent. You are much loved.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ellie Sue, and for your early birthday wishes in your New Year comment! :-) And yes, Jo's labors of love are as appreciated as they are talented and beautiful. She's a very dear friend indeed!

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  4. All the sunrises look great to me! So does the rose.

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    1. That's great, Furry, I'm glad you enjoyed them all!

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  5. Happy birthday. Happy new year. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Minoru, and a very Happy New Year to you!!

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  6. Happy Birthday! And Happy New Year! Your friend's gift is absolutely beautiful:) If that is indulgent - you maybe indulgent all year:):) Hope you're having a special day. (you visited my Artistique blog regularly at BlogSpot, but I moved to wrodpress)

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    1. Thank you very much, Jeannette, and a Happy New Year to you as well! I did enjoy a special day indeed, and intend to carry the celebrating through the weekend. I figure we never know how many birthdays we'll get, so we need to make the best of each of them! :-) Coming from a fellow artist, Joanne will be very pleased to see how much you admire her gift!

      Thanks for letting me know you've moved your blog to WordPress, I will find you there! :-)

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  7. Replies
    1. They sure were, I'm grateful to my husband for alerting me to them or I'd have missed them entirely! Happy New Year to you as well.

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  8. Happy birthday! I love that picture of the cloud in the trees. It's as if in the clouds are pretending its spring again and the stark trees are full of foliage. That is such a gorgeous, thoughtful gift from your friend, Joanne. You're going to have to start brainstorming about her birthday! That's a tough one to match!

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    1. Thanks, Cadry! I love your analogy of the tree holding up the clouds as if wearing foliage! That's lovely! :-)

      I'm ahead of you on brainstorming for Jo! In fact, I came up with an idea several weeks ago and though it will take me a while to fully implement, I was able to accomplish the first part of it yesterday! Her birthday isn't till August, so I have some time - it's going to be fun to bring to fruition! (I'll let you in on it when it's done, as I except Jo to be stopping by the blog next week and we don't want to spill any beans!) :-)

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  9. Beautiful color in your sunset shots!!! That is a fabulous birthday gift!!! What a treasure!

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    1. Thank you, I thought so too! And it was a fun one to be able to share! (I'm keeping my birthday cake to myself, though. LOL)

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  10. Your sunsets are gorgeous, and that rose, how beautiful! Happy Birthday!

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  11. What a gorgeous series of sky-photos! An amazing sky!
    That birthday gift is fantastic! Great work!

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    Replies
    1. I agree, both the sky and the thread painting were gorgeous works of art and wonderful birthday gifts! :-)

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  12. Happy belated birthday - sounds as if you had a most wonderful time! Gorgeous shots and that present from Joanne is just stunning!

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    1. Thank you, Fiona! It was indeed a lovely birthday all around!

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  13. I happy to see that there were lots of coments for your birthday post though you had so much to offer, it wasn't hard!!

    I thought it was great that you posted the original photo before the thread painting. Great idea! The closeups were a little scary but you picked two pretty good spots!! Thanks for your kind words and featuring my gift so prominently!!

    I'm glad you were indulgent and put in all the sunrise photos - they were all awesome and I don't know which I would have picked to leave in. The third one especially looks like the trees are holding up the cloud so I'm glad you pointed that out!

    So glad that BW got the day off for your birthday and treated you to some great food!! You deserve it. I can say that you did fine with the burrito or the fajitas since I know they were both good! I'll just have to make myself some of that ginger cake so I can say the same about that!!

    Glad you had a good birthday - you deserved it!!

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    1. I knew your thread painting was going to get lots of attention! :-) And there was no need to fear the closeups, I actually took several of different parts of the quilt, and they were all great.

      Glad you appreciated my indecisive self-indulgence on all the sunrise photos! LOL I loved Cadry's comparison of the cloud to foliage!

      The fajitas were good, but those were the last ones we're going to eat. They're just too oily! And we see no reason we can't make our own, so that's what we're going to start doing! Plus, the margarita was a real disappointment. So it's home cooking or Oliva's veggie burrito from now on! And yes, you'll have to try that cake - it's wonderful!

      Thank you for your big contribution to my very happy birthday, Jo! xoxo

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  14. Beautiful skies and an even more beautiful quilt!....lucky you! I'm glad BW was home on your BD and was able to spoil you as you deserve. My apologies for being so late, but when I realized I'd let your special day pass, I didn't know what to say! xoxoxo

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    1. It was a great day, can't imagine BW not being home to share it with me! I hope that when my next one rolls around, he'll be RETIRED!!! (Can't wait for that day!)

      Oh, you eventually came up with just the right thing to say about forgetting my birthday. :-) It's cool, my man! (Just don't let it happen again. LOL)

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  15. Late, but my best wishes to you for your brithday and for the New Year. All the skies are very special, a birhtday gift from nature, how wunderful! The quilt ist so beautiful, i am admiring people who are talented to do so marvellous handicraft.

    Have a good time!

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    1. Thank you so much, Wasserfrau, I appreciate your sweet birthday wishes! And I too admire people like Joanne who have both the talent and the patience to create such lovely treasures. Happy New Year to you!

      (Vielen Dank, Wasserfrau, ich schätze Ihre süße Geburtstagswünsche! Und auch ich bewundere Menschen wie Joanne, die sowohl das Talent und die Geduld, um so schöne Schätze zu schaffen. Frohes Neues Jahr für Sie!)

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  16. Happy Belated Birthday - And Happy New Year as well. Usually people with birthdays around the holidays get short changed. But not so with you! You were blessed with a series of fantastic sunrise shots and WOW! what a quilt! ;)

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    1. Thank you so much, Bea, and a very Happy New Year to you as well! You're right about holiday-time birthdays, but this one was indeed not a victim of that. :-) I always appreciate the extra effort it takes for people to make my birthday special, after all the chaos and wear and tear of the holiday season! (Btw, BW's give to me was some wonderful vegan dark chocolate - a pretty all-chocolate truffle with a chocolate covered espresso bean on top and a bag of chipotle chocolate covered almonds like ones we enjoyed at Someday Farm B&B during our vacation! I'd forgotten all about them - we sucked them up like oxygen in outer space, lol - but not BW! So it was both a special AND a decadent birthday!) :-)

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  17. Happy Birthday!
    Gorgeous photos of the sky!
    The quilt is very, very beautiful!

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    1. Thank you very much, Sonia! :-)

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    2. Thank you Laloofah for your nice comment on my current post about my daughter. She asks me to thank you too. Fortunately Sofia lives close enough (about 3 hours by car) in a city named Rio Claro where she is doing her Ph.D in Geosciences.
      I am glad I found your blog! It's very beautiful!
      Hope you have a lovely week ahead. :-)

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    3. Hi, Sonia! I apologize for my delayed reply to your lovely follow-up comment, I've been taking an unplanned blogging sabbatical to attend to other things lately. Thank you for your compliments on my (neglected) blog! :-) It's nice that Sofia doesn't live too far away, though I'm sure her studies keep her very busy! Geosciences would be a fascinating field - and a PhD, I'm impressed! Please tell her buongiorno for me (assuming it's morning there when you do! LOL)

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  18. Birthdays are always good. A happy (belated) birthday wish to you!

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    1. Indeed they are - studies show that people who have the most live the longest. :-) Thank you for your birthday wishes! (I wish I could get my blogging rear in gear!)

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  19. Beautiful, the clouds, hovering above the houses with snow, lovely.

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  20. Hi,Laloofa. Happy Birthday to You. The quilt rose present is very nice to you. It's a very heartwarming present. I think you are very happy to have good friends. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Minoru! I agree that the beautiful quilted rose picture from Jo is a heartwarming present, and I am happy that I have such a good - and talented - friend! :-)

      Sorry it took me this long to reply to your sweet comment; I've taken an unscheduled blogging break! I just totally lost all desire to blog, but am hopeful it will return.

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • LIFE AFTER LIFE ~ Jill McCorkle
  • MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN ~ Ransom Riggs
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE MUSEUM OF DR. MOSES ~ Joyce Carol Oats
  • THE OBITUARY WRITER ~ Ann Hood
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"