Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a difference a few degrees make






BBBrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

It is hard to believe that even though our temperatures have fallen and the trees have shed there pretty foliage for the year, that a few degrees lower and Yikes!

I never get used to the cold, I will admit it. But it was teasing me with temperatures that stayed about freezing. Back and forth the days would go, playing with me as a cat with its prey. Oh a windy day would still bring a chill, but if the sun peeked out I sort of acclimatized, every so slowly of course, to the changes.

Just a few short weeks ago ( it seems) it was still pretty much rain and mess. Then came those strong winds that shook the mid-west and few other areas and stripped even the last of any straggly leaf piles that tried to stay. 




Poof!! All the leaves were gone. With the help of the wind hubby had the yard the neatest it has been in years! But he has been working at clean up all summer, especially since his knee felt good enough to use a chain saw (power tools!)! He took care of lots of fallen (newly and older) trees and their branches, so when the leaves started falling he would almost gleefully chase them into his burning pit with his new power leaf blower he had to get as a reward for re-habbing that knee so well  ☺ ! I am sure all you who are in charge of yard work would feel that is a just reward, wouldn't you?? 
(snickers ☺)
So the temperatures keep falling, but the sun is hiding more each week as the dreary winter days are creeping its icy fingers closer. I know many of my readers have already had snow (yuck, I hate even saying that word, it is a 4 letter word you know!) So what have I spied in the air today and twice before...




Yup! Nasty white flurries! Sure, go ahead and chuckle... I know there is lots more where that came from and is just waiting to attack me one day by surprise... sigh.... I am not a winter girl, did I mention that before??? I can hope for it to hold off and be a mild winter, can't I? A girl can dream of days of degrees above freezing during winter in Wisconsin, can't I?

I hope you enjoyed my tale of woe and photos to help me shed my tale ☺.
Mr. Linky will be below for you to leave your links so I can come and see what you have been up too. 



Until next time

Keep warm thoughts!





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful ...

thanksgiving-food



 Thanksgiving is the established time for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days, we can find small blessings, but we are often in to much of a hurry to notice. We may be having hard times, like many, job loss, money is tight, tempers are quick to rise. It may be health issues, problems within the family or a friend that is always whining about something. We wrap ourselves up in our dilemmas that we forget to notice that we have something to be grateful for everyday.

Use Thanksgiving as a reminder to start being Thankful for the "everyday" blessings.

_thanksgiving-food

 Were you able to get out of your bed today?  

 When you turned on the water facet did the cold water come out of the cold facet and hot water out of the hot? Was there water at all?

Was there still air to breath in and exhale out, today? I hope yours was free from pollutants, smoke or fire.

Did someone smile at you, or if you were the one to give a free smile did you receive one back?

These are just a few blessings that are free to receive by many, but are not even thought upon as a gift anymore.

Here are a few that I am especially Thankful for  ...

_sons

My handsome sons and beautiful daughter-in-laws. The last time we were all together was over 3 years ago. We all live in different states. But they are happy and healthy, for this I am thankful.

_sam-collin

My two grandsons. Getting them to sit next to each other for more than 10 seconds and still just enough to snap a picture was something to be thankful for, last December! I know they have grown and changed so much since then, and even with a few health problems and surgeries especially for the oldest, I am thankful they are both here and doing the things little boys do. They keep my oldest son and daughter-in-law jumping and on their toes, like family does.



I am Thankful for another year with my loving husband. He has bounded back wonderfully from his knee replacement surgery last March and is feeling better than ever.

_home

 After all the storms we had since the beginning of the year with snow, rain, wind or ice I am Thankful that we still have a roof over our heads to protect us from the continuing storms. We may of lost a lot of trees and other minor property but not any bodily limbs nor life. 


I am Thankful I still have running water and electricity and internet! And because of that internet I am Thankful I have met all of you who come to read my words or see my photos or sometimes find a smile. I am also Thankful for all of you who have entertained me back with the same, I feel a kinship ~ as like family or as friends!


_thankful

So my final thoughts for you, be on the lookout for the bits of pleasure in each hour, and appreciate the people who bring love and light to everyone and those who are blessed to know them. 
Be Thankful, as I am for you.

 Mr.Linky below ~


Until next time ...








Friday, November 19, 2010

50 years ago...

_hearts-and-roses-bar




50 years ago on November 19, a special couple met before family, friends and God to pledge their hearts to one another. 
They are a special couple to me.
That was my Aunt Mike and Uncle Herb. 
They were a big part of my much younger years growing up, and have no idea how much their influence and care helped mold me and meant to me. There is no way I can thank them enough for their love and family stability over the years. So I guess they only thing I can do is embarrass them with a photo and a loving Congratulations!
I had a cute photo I found from their wedding day of them cutting the cake, but I somehow misplaced it! (darn it!)

_50-wedding-anniversary



I know my aunt especially will be horrified to know she is posted on the internet for the world to see. But I think she is a beautiful woman who has a very kind heart and opened her home to many. She loves children and babysat for many years. My uncle was also just as kind, and worked odd shifts, so there were plenty of times I wondered how the heck he ever got any sleep with all the kids that were running in and out and around his house, while he was trying to catch some sleep before work. He loves to golf and do woodwork. So now his retired days are filled with many things, along with the two of them riding their bikes around the neighborhood when weather is pleasant. They also love to tend to their flower gardens around the yard, I think I received my love of gardening from them and my Grandmother. My two cousins still live close to their home, so they get to visit them often. The grandchildren are now all off on their own, and that generation is changing the face of the "home town feeling" for them.

My mom moved with me away from there when I had just gotten out of kindergarten. I spent my summers up with my aunt and uncle with frequent visits to my grandparents as well.
That "home" town has changed a lot over the years since I was born. Many new business started and many old and new have gone, including big companies that were the long time employers of the mid-Wisconsin area. Much like many other areas. Small town America has changed. My old home town, still has some of the "feel" but also the scars that is seen across our country. My cousins have felt the job opportunities change and dry up. Their children, with the youngest who will just be graduating college, have been looking for work in bigger metropolitan areas.

My Aunt and Uncle wanted no party or fancy dinner, since everyone worked different weekends and they thought it would be too hard for her grandchildren to get off of work. A growing thing, that I had already dealt with, when my boys were still little and my hubby had to work weekends and holidays. He missed out on a lot of gatherings. They are just "feeling it" with immediate family members. 

50 years is a big milestone. One to be recognized in some way. It is not seen to often these days. Especially with health and job losses that put stress on couples, among other things. Many do not try hard enough to stay together. I hope my hubby and I make it to this milestone! Do you know any one that made it to 50 or beyond?

_golden-anniversary




So once again I send sincere and Happy 50th Anniversary Wishes to a super couple that are extra special to me. 
I hope you get to enjoy many, many more!
With all my love and hugs ~

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Long gruffy beards



you are her mountain peak
where a feisty brown goat leaps
hurls her hungry belly into sky
then wanders down the mountainside
to eat fat luxuries of thick grass
ripping tender green with
strong goat's teeth...

taken from From A Well's Release  
  by Michael Firewalker
   
My wonderful Wednesday Wizards, oh how smart you are. I could not fool you last week, almost all of you were correct! I think the others guessed a different answer just in case I was pulling a fast one with my sideways or upside-down photos... In any case, this old troll could not catch a billy goat gruff if she tried, LOL! But my Wizards know one when they SEE one!


The photo above is the profile of the goat that the clue was cropped from. I tried to get just as much of the head and neck with a touch of the bottom of the ear without the full front of the face. And since her eye was shut, unless you could pull it up close enough to make out the shape in the black markings you would of had a hard time determining for sure if it was a goat or calf, pony or other animal with similar shaped head and colors. The only thing that was not guessed was a cat. I could not fool my wise Wizards, you make me proud!

 Here you can see her eyes and her pretty beard!

Here is the Wednesday Wizards I salute this week!

LadyD of Lady D Books  (one of several blogs)
Laura from Dogsmom  (one of several blogs)

A special tip of the pointy Wizard hat to you all! The Wizard badge is over in the sidebar for any newbies this week that care to grab it to post proudly on their blog of their superior knowledge in the world of all things Cheesy !!

Time for a little kidding around...


Everyone comes running, they must of thought hubby had cookies.



This was the only one that still had nubs growing, everyone else had theirs rubbed off, so I call him/her ( I can't see far enough down, can you ??) I shall call him Lumpy! He was the most persistent! These are the neighbors down the road, in case you were wondering. More than three billy goats gruff, did we see!

 I am going to take a break through the holiday season for Wizard clues, but I will still be posting photos and may surprise you with a mystery once in awhile. My brain could use a time out to find new and interesting things to share with you and make it a fun game as well. I am having a few health issues that knock my back and brain out of commission, so I thought the holidays would be a good excuse for a vacation! I will start it up anew after the new year if possible. I will still be here, don't fear... just no Head (~ahem) Wizard to wrap knuckles with new lessons for awhile!

Mr. Linky will always be below especially on Wednesdays for all the fun mid-week memes Like Wordless/Wordful, A Beautiful Mess, and Wordish.
Holler at me if you ever what me to share something you have going on over at your blog, I love to spread the blog-news! I shall be around to visit and return comments like usual to all who leave me a way to find you!




Until next time...






Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day and Free meals for vets!




Happy Veterans Day to everyone who served, 
are still serving or have family that have served to keep this great country Safe and Free!

Today and always, if you are ever out and come across Veteran in uniform or one that is discharged and in civvies, Thank Them! It means the world to them to know that someone still cares, and we are still in their gratitude! I find it sad that there are many still do not really know why we honor those who fought for our country, including those that where already here and helped fight and those that came from other countries to help us gain our Freedom we own today. In our past history and today.They are all important as well as the brave men and women who still do it today. Freedom is not free.

I wanted to just offer a humble tribute and some places Vets can go today and some of these offers last longer (please check) for a free meal out and other things to do and many discounts.




Take A Moment To Thank A Veteran
 
When you see someone in a uniform,
Someone who serves us all,
Doing military duty,
Answering their country’s call,
Take a moment to thank them
For protecting what you hold dear;
Tell them you are proud of them;
Make it very clear.
Just tap them on the shoulder,
Give a smile, and say,
"Thanks for what you’re doing
To keep us safe in the USA!"
 

credit to Joanna Fuchs



Please click on the highlighted links below for more information about each freebie. As a safeguard, I would suggest you call before you go to be sure your location is offering the deal. And if not noted ask what information you may need to bring so you qualify for your free service. Many include retired as well as active duty service personnel.

 (note these are dated from 2010, some stores may still offer this,
    please call ahead)
 

1. Abuelo's Mexican Food Restaurant The Veterans Day deals from Abuelo's vary by region, so check with your local restaurant before heading out. One example is a buy-one-get-one-free entree deal for all veterans and active military. Don't forget to bring your military I.D.

2. Applebees
   All veterans and active duty military eat free from a limited menu at Applebee's on Nov. 11. Simply show proof of service or arrive wearing a uniform. ((this is where Hubby and I stopped today. The Applebees in New Berlin, WI. All hubby was wearing was a Navy Veteran cap with flag lapel pin, they did not ask for any more I.D. We seen many older and some young Vets in causal attire with maybe just one piece of their uniform on, like their service cap, old shirt, pin, or a retired cap, and no one was turned away. I think this is great service and shows not only how they honor our Vets but trust them! Our server Elgin, was extra attentive and interested in what ever Vet around us her served had to say to him, after his thanks and gratitude where given to each Vet. I wanted to give them an extra shot out!))

 
3. Golden Corral
For the 10th year in a row, Golden Corral Restaurants will offer their Military Appreciation Monday dinner. The event is scheduled this year from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 15. All personnel are welcome, including retirees, veterans, active duty, National Guard and Reserves.

4. Hooters
  - Get a free meal from a special menu at participating restaurants when you purchase a beverage. Available for veterans and active military with ID. Dine in only. Cannot be combined with other discounts. Up to an $8.50 value.


5. Outback Steakhouse Veterans and active-duty military receive a free Bloomin' Onion and non-alcoholic beverage on Veterans Day at participating Outback Steakhouses.
6. Subway
 Some Subway restaurants are distributing free six-inch subs to veterans or active-duty members on Veterans Day. Make sure you call ahead, however, as not all franchises are participating in this special event.


7. UNO Chicago Grill Show up on Veterans Day in uniform, with a photo of yourself in uniform or with a military or veteran's I.D. and receive a free entree or individual pizza, with an entree or pizza purchase of equal or greater value.


8.Claim Jumper
 -- Free dessert for veterans and active duty military with ID is available on Nov. 10, 2010. Dine in only. 


9. Visit Chili's
 on Thursday, November 11, 2010, to get your Veteran's Day free meal if you are a veteran or on active military duty. You'll get to choose between 6 meals that include tacos, quesadillas, chicken, and pasta. This is dine-in only and beverages and gratuity are not included. You'll need to show proof of military service to get your Veteran's Day free meal. Be sure to check if your local Chilli's is participating.

Knott's Berry Farm
 -- Through Nov. 24, 2010, admission is free to veterans or active duty military personnel plus one guest. Get up to six extra tickets for $15 each. ID required. Eligible person must be present. Dependent I.D.s will not be accepted. 


Here's one I know hubby and I both would enjoy, a Massage! HydroMassage
 Participating HydroMassage business owners will be giving veterans a free HydroMassage, November 11-14. Here's a list of the businesses that are participating. I was surprised to find quite a few in and near my Wisconsin area. 

Also, you can go to Military.com
 to find more discounts and freebies being offered for active-duty military and veterans.
Did you remember to thank a Vet today?


All of us know at least one person who has given his or her life for our country.  
This post is especially is dedicated to those we knew.

"All gave some, some gave all"


Sincerely, Faythe


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fishy, fishy in the brook...


Take a nibble on my hook!
Oh wait! 
Scratch that, not fishing for supper here am I???

Oh my wise and wonderful Wizards, I am so happy you have such active imaginations and are using them to full capacity! We had some great conjectures regarding on what last weeks fuzzy (some called it) mystery was. And because some of you had actually guessed 2 different things you were twice as right! As my clue had a small piece of another critter in the face of the main clue. The answer to last weeks enigma was a Koi!
Here is a slightly larger version of the clue...





the arrow is pointing to the face of the Koi, the photo was turned up-side down, with just a part of the goldfish tail in view. Here is the complete picture:




Can you find the face of the selected Koi above?

Here is the list of the Wednesday Wizards that guessed either Koi or goldfish...

Larry over at CakeBlast! He wrote both answers!!
  she had both answers as well!  

You all now can grab the coveted Wednesday Wizard badge over there in the left side side, to proudly display your wonderful knowledge of all things, well at least all things here at GrammyMouseTails  ☺ !


What do we know of these fishys called Koi? Well first off Koi and goldfish are two separate species. Goldfish were developed in China more than a thousand years ago by selectively breeding Prussian carp for color mutations. During the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), yellow, orange, white and red-and-white colorations had been developed. Goldfish and Prussian carp are now considered different species. 
Goldfish were introduced to Japan in the 16th century and to Europe in the 17th century.Koi on the other hand, were developed from common carp in Japan in the 1820s. Koi are domesticated common carp that are culled for color, they are not a different species and will revert to the original coloration within a few generations if allowed to breed freely.



 The word 'koi' comes from Japanese, simply meaning "carp." The Japanese name means "Carp like Beautiful textile." It includes both the dull grey fish and the brightly colored varieties. What are known as 'koi' in English are referred to more specifically as 'nishikigoi' in Japan (literally meaning 'brocaded carp'). In Japanese, 'koi' is a homophone for another word that means 'affection' or 'love'; koi are therefore symbols of love and friendship in Japan. An example of this is given in a short story by Mukoda Kuniko, "Koi-san". Koi tattoos have also become a popular trend in North America.

   Many facts found and some linked to Wikipedia.


Today Koi are bred in every country and considered to be the most popular fresh-water ornamental pond fish and are often referred to as being "living jewels" or "swimming flowers".



 Koi are actually little socialites ( they get along well with goldfish and other pond fish that are not aggressive or to small that the Koi think they are a snack) and can recognize their owner (or at least the person who feeds them) and will gather around the feeding area even before the food is dropped into the water. They can be trained to take food from one's hand. You can take full advantage of this by checking them out for parasites or signs of disease whenever you feed them. Give them food that floats to the surface of the water to get an even better look at them while they feed. Koi are an omnivorous fish and will often eat a wide variety of foods, including peas, lettuce, and watermelon. Special Koi pellets and even "koi cookies" are nutritionally balanced and also made to float as to encourage them to come to the surface. Once temperatures drop and winter arrives Koi digestive systems slows to a halt and they eat if even a nibble of algae from the bottom of the pond until spring warms up the pond again.  
  
The Koi you have been enjoying are from my BFFs yard and have a beautiful habitat created for them by her DH. They are part of the "park" we visit when we need to find a bit more peace than in our own yard ☺! 



 Koi's bright colors put them at a severe disadvantage against predators; a white-skinned Kohaku is a visual dinner bell against the dark green of a pond. Herons, kingfishers, raccoons, cats, foxes, badgers and hedgehogs are all capable of emptying a pond of its fish. A well-designed outdoor pond will have areas too deep for herons to stand in, overhangs high enough above the water that mammals can't reach in, and shade trees overhead to block the view of aerial passers-by. It may prove necessary to string nets or wires above the surface. A pond usually includes a pump and filtration system to keep the water clear. As you can see in the photo above, Richard has seen to the everything for his Koi safety and so they can continue to sit and enjoy them and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature and water.


One last fun fact:
  Koi can blush! Koi show stress by blushing red in their fins and on their bodies. When they are handled in a net you can see the red in their fins, between the spines. Also when they are in a stressful environment, such as bad water, they will often show a red blush on their bodies under the scales. Sometimes they almost look like they have varicose veins.

If you see this they are trying to tell you something is causing them stress. Take measures to relieve the stress or you will start to lose Koi.
This is similar to when we, humans blush from embarrassment or stress.

Before I leave you with next weeks puzzler I want to thank you again for visiting, commenting and playing along each week. Mr. Linky will be below as always for those who like to follow the mid-week memes (Wordless/ Wordful Wednesdays, Watery Wednesday ) and visit others to see what great things wait out there in the internet world.

Time to put on those creative thinking hats...
This weeks clue:



Until next time,
Keep your eyes open
and your mind alert!


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Did you fall ...






fall...

fall what? 
I know I was suppose to remind me you of something?

Did you fall .. In Love!??





Nah... taken care of....

Did you fall ... asleep!??




No, no.. not bedtime stories?
Think... shake that mouse head up!!
   ((Yawnnnn))

Wait!!!

Did you fall ...




Back!! not that back... back in Time!!
(now I sound totally off MY rocker!)

Yes! That is it! If you live in the U.S. and parts of Canada that have that goofy daylights savings time program, last night me You were suppose to set your clocks back one hour before going to sleep!  

So did you enjoy your extra hour snooze, 
  or did you forget it like me?




Happy Daylight Savings Time!
 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Whats warm, fuzzy and shades of orange all over?

 
 
And no it is not my left over jacko-lanterns...



It is the answer to last weeks mind-teaser!
(could it be Fuzzy Wuzzy?)

We had a new record of winning Wednesday Wizards I am proud to announce and post a link to their wonderful sites for everyone else to enjoy! 
24 Wednesday Wizards in fact!!
I am going to announce them first as I am so darn proud and hope you all are enjoying this presumption pursuit as much as I do putting it together for you!

Our list of 24 Wednesday Wizards  is ...
(some new, some returning champions!) 



Remember if you did not already grab a Wednesday Wizard badge (it is over there in the Left Side bar) from a previous win, or this is your first time, please snap it up and proudly display it on your blog, car bumper or where ever you wish to be congratulated on your superior knowledge of all things in the Cheesy Kingdom that is GrammyMouseTails! If I have missed your name, or think it belongs here, please bring it to my attention so I may correct it. My brain is not always fully engaged. (wink)

So what is many shades of orange, fuzzy and warm???
Sort of looks like a fuzzy wuzzy...

Zaphod, the party animal

This is Zaphod! He was a very special Orange boy to my youngest son who lives out west. My son and D.I.L. adopted him just before he was sent to his next naval station at that time. Zaphod was a good traveler, better than his older sister. He was a little more upset when they moved back down the coast a few years later, tho...

I see, I am quite handsome!

 Zaphod had a heart of gold, almost as golden as his beautiful fur coat. He was the official welcoming committee when ever someone arrived. And if it was for a party! Well you could count on Zaphod to point you to the right direction to the restroom, all that was needed in exchange was a nice scritch or rub on his generous fuzzy tummy.

I love to play!
all Images are clickable to enlarge,
please do not copy without permission

 Zaphod was always the life of the party, even when there was no party. Have a bad day, Zaphod was there to cuddle you up and make it all better. Big ol' Orange boy would make you smile.



 Zaphod was a big soft tabby with an orange glow that seem to change with his whims. Altho he had a nonchalant look on his face he was had purrs galore to share. Even when a new little sister arrived on scene. It took a little while to warm up to her, but he is just to much of a softee to snub anyone.

okay, I'll share the sunpuddles, 
there is plenty to go around

One day came for Zaphod to travel to the place that all our beloved pets go to wait for us, the Rainbow Bridge. He is sorely missed. Especially by his dad, I think...  They have 2 more kitties besides the sister pictured above, including little Favre I have introduced a few months ago. But it is hard for the kitties to really reach that special spot, in my sons heart, that Zaphod did. I hope my son will let his heart open more each day. As the rest of his furry family love him, and he does enjoy them. It's hard to let them get close to that special part...
Any suggestions or advice especially from my Kitty readers? 
Favre and his older sister Vespa do not intend to take Zaphods place, but sure would love some extra cuddles (well, when "they" want it of course) Favre being the baby will take love and fun anytime. Oh, did I tell you he is already as big as his sister Vespa! He is going to be a big boy! 



So before I get to revealing the brain-teasing clue to next weeks puzzler. I want to remind you that Mr. Linky is below for all who play along in the mid-week memes, or for those who wish to visit them as well as the winning Wizards from this week (above). I love your comments as well as your guesses. And if you leave a way for me to find your blog, I will return to visit you and comment as well ☺ ! 

Put on your thinking caps... 
I hope I made this a bit harder this time...

clickable to enlarge
 (as always, image has not been manipulated or distorted in any way, 
maybe just zoomed in and cropped)



As always,
keep your eyes alert
and your mind wide open...