North Texas Backyard Wildlife In January (16)

1) Blue Jay; 2) White-winged Dove; 3) Blue Jay with peanut; 4) Blue Jay;
5) Mourning Dove; 6) Young House Sparrow; 7) Mourning Dove;
8) White-winged Dove; 9) White-winged Doves; 10) Male Northern Cardinal;
11) House Finch Couple; 12) Cedar Waxing in tree with the Waxing
Gibbous Moon in the background; 13) Male Northern Cardinal;
14) Female Northern Cardinal; 15) Dark-eyed Junco; 16) Turkey Vulture

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4

In the daylight I could shoot some more photos of the Grand Cherokee, we’ve purchased yesterday. Even in the rain, it is a very good looking vehicle. The maroon is a beautiful color. It still takes me a little bit to get used to all the technology. I feel old. πŸ€”πŸ˜„

For all my DFW followers: If you look into purchasing a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep, I highly recommend Dodge City of McKinney. We had superb service from the front desk, all the way until we walked out with the keys of our new car. It is a family owned business. And everyone is very friendly, competent, straight forward and won’t pressure into a sale. The Grand Cherokee is the second vehicle we’ve purchased at this dealership. Our first purchase was the Dodge Caravan. Due to the professional service, they provided us, we went back to buy our new car.

A New Year ~ A New Car

Jeep

Since Katelynn has her driver’s license, and Kevin is moving up to Connecticut three months prior to us, we needed another vehicle. Kevin was looking into getting another Grand Cherokee. In 2007, he got his first Jeep. And he liked it a lot. Unfortunately, we had to get rid of it, because the kids got bigger, and therefore we needed more space. In 2015, we purchased a Dodge Caravan. It is a great family car. Tonight, we went to the dealership and signed our lives away, getting a new Grand Cherokee. Katelynn can now have the Charger, while Kevin and I will “fight” over the van and the Jeep. Katelynn did commit to take care of the Dodge Charger (gasoline, oil changes and other maintenance) and is willing to pay for the insurance. That helps her to be responsible towards valuable items. Now, Kevin and I have to figure out how all this technology works in the new car.

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4/Maroon

Kevin’s Home Improvement Project: The Master Bathroom (Part IV)

During this week we’ve noticed something Kevin missed, before he installed the drywalls: Behind the walls was no moisture barrier. This evening, it took Kevin about an hour to uninstall the drywalls, put the plastic moisture barrier in place and reinstall the drywalls. Zoey made sure, Daddy is doing a good shop working in the master bathroom. Thank goodness, we’ve noticed this before he placed the tiles on the walls. Tomorrow, there’s a lot more work to be done.. It is done, when it is done.

National Squirrel Appreciation Day 2021

Texas Fox Squirrel

Today, Squirrel Appreciation Day recognizes a critter some see a cute little furball roaming the trees and others consider it as a pest The founder of Squirrel Appreciation Day, Christy Hargrove, is a wildlife rehabilitator and affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville, North Carolina. According to Christy, β€œCelebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group β€” anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.” Squirrel Appreciation Day was founded in 2001.

Washington, D.C. (II)

Today is a very important and historical day: the USA is celebrating the Inauguration of its 46th President, Joseph R. Biden , and its 49th Vice President Kamala D. Harris. Joe Biden was the Vice President during President Barack H. Obama’s two terms in office (2009 – 2017). Kamala Harris is the First Female Vice President, the First African Vice President, and the First Asian American Vice President in US History. Her husband, Douglas C. Emhoff is the First “Second Gentleman of the United States” (SGOTUS).

Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool

As I mentioned four years ago, I don’t want to make this blog page too political, unless there is an event like the Election, re-Election and Inauguration of a President. I want to keep it as neutral as possible. There are many other platforms, where politics can be discussed. With this said, I use the chance to post some pictures of my visit in the Nations Capital back in 2015.

For more pictures, you can check out pictures on this blog: https://underthepecantreeblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2021

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
β€œReturning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kevin’s Home Improvement Project: The Master Bathroom (Part III)

Kevin got a little bit further, today. The AC door is spray painted and looks like a brand new door. It is so shiny. He put plenty of putty in the drywall gaps. The walls and ceiling have been painted, which gives it a warmer tone. And the new bathroom light is installed, which has a warm and more updated look, than the previous one. With this little bit done, the bathroom looks a million times better already. I can’t wait until it’s tiled. Once that’s done, we can put the toilet, the mirror, the vanity, and the knick-knacks in the bathroom. I might not wanna move then. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

Kevin’s Home Improvement Project: The Master Bathroom (Part II)

Kevin worked on the shower drain, shower pan; and replaced the drywalls today. After he saw that the drain fits, he had to get another rubber donut. The first donut was not the exact size he needed for the pipe. Back from the store, he finally can fit everything together and put the shower pan in place. On a good note, Kevin could fix the drain himself, and we didn’t have to call a plumber. After we pulled Joshua, Ozzy and Benny out of the wall space between the Master Bathroom and the Utility Area, Kevin could install the drywalls. These sneaky fur balls always found a way back into the wall no matter how often we put them in a different room and closed the door. Ozzy knows, how to open doors. Before Kevin screwed the last portion of drywall in place, we had to do a cat count. Thank goodness, they had enough and took a nap. What would life be without pets? Boring, I guess. πŸ˜€

A Warm & Cozy January Evening

Warm fire and a instant cappuccino

The wind was nasty today. It chilled the air. I had no desire to go outdoors. Instead I decided to get the fire started in the fire place. When Sara, Katelynn and Kevin came home, they walked into a warm and cozy house. Now, the wind speed went from 25 – 35 mph (40 – 56 km/h) down to 9 mph (14 km/h). It is not as intense as it was throughout the day.

A Relaxing Afternoon In January 2021

Chewbacca and I did some bird watching in our backyard. He had his little hiding spot between the rosemary and lavender bushes, while I sat on the patio and enjoyed the warms of the Texas Winter sun. The little Dark-eyed Juncos were very busy around the feeders. However, they stayed aware of the fact that a cat was present in yard. In the garden and greenhouse I’ve noticed, the pincushions, the hyacinths, and the Thai basil are doing fabulous in this cooler weather. The pincushion doesn’t mind the light freezes, we have during the January nights. If the plant survives this Winter, the Monarchs will be very happy this upcoming Summer.

My 4-Year Anniversary

Today, I celebrate my 4-Year Anniversary becoming a citizen of the United States of America.

The Star Spangled Banner at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas

Despite all the events going on in our country, I am very proud to be an American.

First Snow of 2021

❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄

First snow of this season in North Texas

Around noon, it began to snow in North Texas. However, it hasn’t been cold enough for the last several days/nights. Therefore the snow won’t stick. and melts by the time it hits the ground. But, it was fun while it lasted. Katelynn, Sara and Zoey had a blast catching snow flakes with their tongues. Yes, the dog caught a few flakes on her tongue as well. Now, all three are warming up by the fire. Katelynn had some “Vegetable Beef Soup” to warm from inside out. Both girls mentioned, they can’t wait to see a real Winter with snow in Connecticut.

❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄❄⛄

Kevin’s Home Improvement Project: The Master Bathroom (Part I)

The stimulus money came at the perfect moment, so we can refurbish our 42-year-old master bathroom. This morning, Kevin started chiseling the tiles of the shower walls, which didn’t take longer than 20 minutes. It actually took him longer to clean those tiles up and toss them out. While Kevin worked in the bathroom, Zoey got very irritated by the noise of the compressor. She kept chasing the cats around the house. The best way to get her out of the house was me taking her to the local doggy park. There she was far away from getting aggravated by the annoying sound. Playing and socializing with other dogs was more fun anyway. When Zoey and I came back home, Kevin had the old floor, toilet, vanity and mirror removed in the bathroom. And he had partially the new drywalls installed in the shower. Later in the afternoon after Kevin rested for a little bit, we went shopping for a new vanity, toilet and lights. He got quite a bit done on the first day.

Kevin’s Birthday 2021

The Love of my Life of the past 20 years celebrates his birthday, today.

Katelynn wanted to do something special for their Daddy. Because we didn’t have all the ingredients to bake homemade cupcakes, the girls decided to make two BLTs for Kevin. He loved the BLTs even more. Come on! No man can stay away from bacon. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

The Garage Can Be Used As A Storage

Finally I’ve got that done, what I didn’t look forward to do at all. I’ve sorted out my seasonal decorations and stored them in new containers. Yeah, the sorting out and putting decorations away was not my favorite. They are bulky and need to be carefully stored in a box, so we still can enjoy them several years. Some decorations were broken and needed to go into the trash. But this is over, and we don’t have to worry about it until the next Halloween season. The dust and pollen got the best of me. Because my allergies were flaring up, I had to wear my mask. After all, the garage is swept and ready for some furniture to store. It makes life so much easier, when there is more room to work with in the house. Tomorrow, I’ll begin cleaning out the master bedroom. I’m seriously not looking forward to do it. But it needs to be done.

Getting Back On Track After The Holidays

“Oh boy! When Mommy cleans up, the move must be the REAL DEAL!”

The holidays are over. A new year begins. It is time to get back on track with the house. Today, I sorted and tossed some items out. Some cook books and other books had to go. I haven’t touched them in years. The girls got some journals, they can write and draw in. Katelynn was excited I handed her some more science books. She’s busy reading them, while I type this blog. My original plan was to paint the bedroom walls in December. But during the holiday season, I just didn’t feel like moving furniture around in the house. So, January is the month the bedrooms will get painted & new carpets and baseboards will be installed. Kevin’s project will be the master bathroom. At the same time, Kevin moves the “shop” up to Connecticut; help to set up everything in the new place; and get ready to move to our new home.

The Night Sky In Early January 2021 (I)

Since the skies are clear, I waited for the Moon to rise tonight. I was rewarded with a bright waning gibbous Moon later in the evening. Now in January, the Constellation Orion is almost centered in the celestial sphere right above us right around midnight. This gave me the opportunity to capture photos of Orion, parts of other constellations and the surrounding stars. In the right photo Orion can be seen with Constellation Sirius, the brightest star of Canis Major (bottom left); Aldebaran, the “Fiery Eye” of Taurus (upper right); Constellation Lepus (bottom center); and a little bit of Constellation Gemini (upper left corner).

For a better resolution of the photo click the link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/50797891868/in/album-72157715037977966/

Bill Allen Memorial Park In January (2)

Since the weather was so nice, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I walked in Bill Allen Memorial Park for little bit. The Winter sun was warm and refreshing after three days of rain. The wind and rain must have taken down most of the foliage of the trees. Only a few stubborn leaves are still clinging on. We saw a pair of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. The male had shown its beautiful ruby-colored crown, while the Misses had made a lot of ruckus. An Eastern Phoebe enjoyed this weather on a tree branch hanging over the pond. It was very refreshing taking a walk with the family out in nature.

Ozzy’s Adventures In The Bradford Tree (2)

After three days of rain and cooler temperatures, finally the sun came back out. It was comfortable on the deck. We let Chewbacca and Ozzy out with the dogs. Chewbacca was basking in the sun, before he saw a bird and climbed the trees. Ozzy checked out the backyard, munched on some grass, before he followed Chewbacca into the tree. Chewbacca had enough of the tree climbing and went straight back to his basking spot. He was not really in the mood for chasing birds. He must be “hungover” from New Year’s. On the other hand, Ozzy enjoyed his adventures in the trees again. The warm rays of the sun must have felt really good on his fur. It didn’t take long, until Ozzy found a perfect branch to sun bath in the Bradford Pear tree. While he relaxed, he watched some Dark-eyed Juncos picking some left pears from the twigs. When Ozzy was warm enough, he came back into the house to chill in the front room.

New Year’s Eve 2020

🍾πŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚

Zoey wants to say “Happy New Year!”

Happy New Dreams
Happy New Days
Happy New Desires
Happy New Ways
Happy New Year
Happy New YOU!

🍾πŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸ₯‚

Katelynn And Sara Make Pizzas From Scratch For New Year’s Eve

Yesterday evening, Katelynn and Sara made plans for baking homemade pizza for New Year’s Eve. They asked Kevin, if he could run and grab some items from the store. This afternoon, they cleaned up the kitchen counters and started to prepare the dough. While the dough was rising, Sara cut up the toppings. Each of the girls wanted her own pizza. When the pizzas were all done, they cleaned up and mentioned to us: “We have to do this more often. Homemade pizza is so much better than store-bought pizzas.”

Another Warm & Cozy December Evening

Staying warm in Texas

While it is windy and rainy outside, it is warm and cozy in our home. I started a fire in the late afternoon. By the time Kevin comes from work, he can warm up at the fire place. Over New Years it suppose to get a little bit cooler, before we will get milder temperatures again. We were hoping for some snowflakes. Unfortunately, they will stay more west of us.

The Full Cold Moon 2020

The Full Cold Moon is slightly covered by passing clouds.

First I thought I won’t be lucky with viewing the Full Moon, today. The meteorologists predicted cloudy skies with lots of rain in the forecast. But earlier in the evening, I’ve got a glimpse of the Moon through the clouds. It was my last chance to photograph the Full Cold Moon of 2020. Shortly after, the clouds became in much thicker and it began to drizzle.

Ozzy’s Adventures In The Bradford Tree (1)

Sara played with Ozzy on the patio deck, when something in the Bradford Pear tree caught his attention. However, he wasn’t so sure, if he really wanted to climb it. I picked him up and gave him a lift to see how he’s gonna do on the branches above us. After all this was his first time being in a tree. In the beginning, he was not so steady on his paws. But once, he figured out, his claws can make perfect tools for holding on to the bark, it was for him a walk in the park. All of a sudden, everything became more fascinating, because he could see it from a different angle and far away from the ground. Until … he heard alarming noises from the neighbor’s yard. The Blue Jays made a big ruckus. And some White-winged Doves flew by passing Ozzy’s tree. I don’t know, if it was due to Ozzy being in their territory or the Turkey Vulture high up in the air. Ozzy didn’t feel comfortable staying any longer, jumped on the patio and “asked” Sara to let him into our house. After that, it was time for a big cat nap on the couch .

North Texas Backyard Wildlife in December (2)

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Sara and I sat outside and watched backyard birds in this nice sunny weather. The Blue Jays didn’t come short amusing us by picking the perfect peanut. “Mom, these Blue Jays are very picky with their peanuts,” Sara noticed. While a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a Pine Siskin came over for a visit, two Northern Mockingbirds were showing a “dance-off” on our roof. When one reached the etch of the roof, the other one jumped backwards to give the first bird a chance for some room. And the dance-off was on again. This kept going on for about five minutes, before they flew off and chased each other around a neighbor’s tree. What a show?! Nature can be beautiful, and at times funny as well.

Between The Years

Time to take it easy “between the years” (the time between Christmas and New Years). After New Years it’s time to pick up on our plans, again. Kevin’s project will be to refurbish the master bathroom, while my project will be to paint all the bedrooms and the hallway.

Christmas Day 2020

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day

The lights are blinking,
And the stars are twinkling,
With the moon giving light,
That serves guide through the night.
A feast on the table,
To be served in every home,
Time to celebrate the night,
With these lovely people.
As the Christmas songs play,
And children caroling their way,
Feel the spirit of Christmas,
Through everyone’s good heart.
Christmas lights and trees,
How wonderful it really is,
Place the gifts under the tree,
For the children wants to see.
Author unknown

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Together For 20 Years

πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉ

Kevin and I are together for 20 years, now. We had very many beautiful moments and some boulders on the road along the way of our relationship and marriage. Both made our bond stronger over the years. May the next 20 years be as wonderful as the last.

Kevin & I πŸ’—

πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉπŸ’—πŸ’–πŸŒΉ

Christmas Season At The Grandscape In The Colony

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

Last weekend, Kevin and I did some Christmas shopping which led us to the Grandscape in The Colony. We didn’t find, what we were looking for the girls. However, we used the opportunity to walk around for a little bit. A live band named “Texas Flood” played on The Stage at Grandscape. We checked them out for a little bit, before we moved on to look at some Christmas lights. The only camera I had with me was my smart phone camera. Therefore the Android pictures have to do it. Maybe I get another opportunity taking my Nikon and tripod with me. If not, oh well! I have at least some images as memories.

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

Warm Weather On Winter Days

This Northern Cardinal enjoys the warmer temperatures in Winter.

Today, the thermometer went up to 71o F (21oC) on the second day of the astronomical Winter. It supposed to be the warmest day for this week, before we drop down to cooler temperatures in North Texas. Wildlife enjoy these warmer days, before they have to huddle up against each other to keep each other to stay warm and cozy during the freezing days of Winter.

The Great Jupiter-Saturn-Conjunction In 2020

We couldn’t have asked for better weather in North Texas, tonight. The sky was clear; no clouds in the sky; and no wind either. Short after the sunset, Sara and I watched the First Quarter Moon and kept counting airplanes, until it was dark enough for the planets to be visible in the southwestern sky. Jupiter and Saturn did not disappoint us, tonight. It was quite a party in the early evening hours, before they disappeared beneath the horizon.

Winter Solstice/Yuletide 2020

β„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒž

The Beginning of Winter, the longest night of the year.
YULE is the Winter Solstice Sabbath
to honor the return of the Light after the longest night of the year.
A celebration of rebirth and new beginnings.

β„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒžβ„πŸŒž

The Fourth Advents Sunday 2020

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

It’s the last Sunday before Christmas, All candles are lit, now.

Blessed Fourth Advent!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

The Autumn Mockingbird

This time of the year, wildlife tries to fatten up for Winter. There are still plenty of berries around the neighborhood trees and shrubs. Every day, I see a Northern Mockingbird visiting our Bradford Pear trees in our yard. When its done feeding of the pears, it looks for more berries in a different yard. Variety in a birds diet is important as well.

After All It’s Still Fall (3)

There are still plenty of Autumn leaves on the trees and shrubs in North Texas. I enjoy every minute of this season, before it is over. Sometimes we have a few leaves left until the beginning of January. Some trees blossom six to seven weeks after the last leaf fell to the ground. Winter doesn’t dwell for long. Before we know it, Summer arrives and lasts FOREVER! At least it seems that way. Therefore, every moment counts of the other three seasons.

The Waxing Crescent Moon, Jupiter & Saturn In December 2020

In the night of the Winter Solstice on December 21st, the two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn will appear so closely aligned in our sky that they will look like a double planet. Since it just happens right before Christmas, its nickname is the “Christmas Star”. It is pure coincidence, that this event happens at this time of the year.

Our Outdoor Christmas Decoration 2020

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

December went by fast, so far. We are at the mid-month mark already. Only nine days are left until Christmas Day. And then the year 2020 is almost over. Today, the Sun came back out. It still was chilly. But it didn’t keep me from photographing some of the Christmas decoration by our front door. The Christmas/Yule spirit is strong at our house.

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

Warm & Cozy December Evening

Our second cozy fire of this season

We’ve had a cold drizzling rain, this afternoon and evening. I knew, the girls would love a warm fire in the frontroom. So, I started one in the fireplace, before they came home from school. After dinner, they are snuggled up with the pets to watch Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”.

The Hardworking Christmas Light Elves

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

We have some hardworking Christmas Light Elves outside. They make sure, our cords and lights are always connected, protected from water and power outages and turn on at 5:45 pm.

Well, the truth is: When Kevin installs the Christmas lights, he can get a bit disorganized with all the cables. Some of them hang all over the place. And it just looks awful. But I also know, he can not help it. Last year, I had enough with all the tangled cords, I decided to buy a couple of elves and make them look like, they are working on the lights and cables all season long. Therefore, it looks more like it was done purposely and nobody gets frustrated. Creativity finally fixed that problem. Now, it’s the elves’ fault. πŸ˜„πŸ˜‰

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

The “Big D” At Night

Dallas, Texas

Since I was out and about with the camera, I tried to mark something else off my “still to-do in DFW” list. Kevin, the girls and I drove down to the Trammell Crow Park in Dallas. There I could photograph the skyline at night. Yeah, we will miss the “Big D”. It was home for more than 17 years. After I shot photos, I looked at the skyline for a bit longer to pay tribute to it. SIGH!

I πŸ’— Dallas, Texas!

Hiking At The Colony Shoreline Trail In December

At The Colony Shoreline Trail

Yesterday after dinner, we took a little family walk at The Colony Shoreline Trail. The weather was superb. And quite a few people had the same idea. Kevin parked the car by the pond, while Katelynn, Sara and I started walking from the Restaurant Trail. Approximately in the middle of the Shoreline Trail, we’ve met with Kevin to walk to the car. This also gave me the opportunity to capture some photos along the trail. And that little hike was good for all of us.

The Third Advent Sunday 2020

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Today, we burn the first, second and third candle on the Advents wreath.

Blessed Third Advent!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Cleaning The Patio Deck

This morning, we’ve got our patio deck pressure washed by a friend. A lot of dirt came off that wood. Now, it looks like brand new again. It is hard to believe this deck is already 20+ years old. Whoever built it, did a great job; investing some time and money into it. We enjoyed the deck for over 15 years. And hopefully the next owner will enjoy it a long time as well.

Loving The Beautiful Days of Late Autumn In Texas

Across the street, our neighbors have this beautiful Sweetgum tree. During Spring and Summer it is just like a any tree. But once Autumn comes around, this tree shows itself in its prettiest dresses of gold, orange and red, while its seed ball pods hang on like little ornamental jewelries. Not every year, we get to see the Sweetgum tree in its full beauty. Some years, the leaves are not completely turned into Autumn colors, but the wind blows them all to the ground. However, this Autumn the tree can shine in its full glory. It always will be my most favorite tree on this street of our North Texas home.

β—Šβ—Šβ—Šβ—Šβ—Š

The weather is just so nice and mild for the last few days, I had to go out and enjoy every single bit of it. We had temperatures in the upper 70s (25o+C) in the afternoon. The nights were mild in the upper 40s (8o C). I took a little walk across the street to capture some photos of the Sweetgum tree (mentioned above), the Holly Berry bush and the Crape Myrtle, before I went back in our yard to do some bird-watching. The last couple of days I’ve noticed, the Cedar Waxwings have migrated and arrived back south. I also watched a couple of White-winged Doves balancing on branches to get some berries of the Chinese Tallow tree. It was interesting and funny to see them going head over to get to these berries. Sometimes the doves lost their balances, caught their falls with their wings and landed back on the same branch to get that one particular berry. Zoey enjoyed the warmer temperatures and cared only for her stick she pulled out of our firewood pile. As long as Zoey has the perfect size branch or twig, she’s happy and minds her own business for quite some time. She just loves flossing her teeth with it.

Josey Ranch Lake (6)

Josey Ranch Lake

Today, I got out and walk for a little bit. I had to unwind from all the thoughts and projects. And I still want to get as many photos from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, before we’ll move up to New England. This afternoon, I packed my camera and drove down to Josey Ranch Lake in Carrollton. By this time of the year, a lot of migrating water fowls are arriving in North Texas. I wanted to see, if some are at the lake already. Since this December has been mild so far, a lot of trees still have their Autumn leaves. Autumn berries are all around, which will provide food for the local wildlife throughout the Winter months. I also took a closer look at the new Veterans Memorial Plaza in the Park. It had its ribbon cutting in November of last year.

Texas Wildlife at Josey Ranch Lake

β—Šβ—Šβ—Šβ—Šβ—Š

It’s Still Fall After All

β—Šβ—Šβ—Šβ—Šβ—Š

Veterans Memorial Plaza At Josey Ranch Lake, Carrollton, Texas

Saint Nicholas Day 2020

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

The Second Advent Sunday 2020

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Today, we burn the first and the second candle on the Advent wreath.

Blessed Second Advent!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Our New Privacy Wood Fence (4)

Today, the fence gates got cut out; locks and hinges were installed; some of the posts got a “haircut” on top and needed some foaming on the bottom; and most of the holes were filled in with soil. The only couple of things still need to be done are cutting the foam off; and wait for the solar lights to be delivered, so we can install them by the gates. After all that, the fence project will done. We love our new fence! No more holes or broken and rotten pieces anymore. Luis behaves himself much better, because he can’t see the neighbor’s dogs and cause a ruckus. Everyone is happy, including the neighbors. πŸ˜‰

Our New Privacy Wood Fence (3)

Today, the weather was perfect for installing the left side of the fence. Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine …. all day long. And we only had a light breeze. On that side, we had to deal with a couple of minor hick ups. There is a Cottonwood tree in the neighbor’s yard, which has a really stubborn root system. One of the posts had to be removed, and replaced by a new one a couple feet from the original place. Therefore we needed longer fence rails on one side to connect the longer distance of the two posts together. Once this was all figured out, we had to squeeze between the tree and the fence to install the pickets. That little portion cost us at least another hour to until we’ve got passed that spot. If it wasn’t for the challenges, it could have been done faster. But we’ve got it done. Zoey and Chewbacca weren’t so happy about the new fence. Zoey can’t see her doggy friends on the other side anymore. And Chewbacca needs to find a new “escape” route to get into the front yard. 😁

Our New Privacy Wood Fence (2)

This morning, we’ve got the right side up of the fence. On that side, we’ve had to work more with a measuring tape, because the fence is on a slight slope. Once we passed that slope, the rest was back to leveling the rails. Even when we had more fence rails and pickets to worry about, it seems like we did it much faster today. Moving around made us feel warmer. So we kept going and going, until it was done. Tomorrow, we’ll do the left side. Saturday, we’ll work on the gates, foaming some posts (one post needs concrete), closing the corners, and doing some other small details. And then the fence should be finished. In about two weeks, we will stain it to make it last longer.

Our New Privacy Wood Fence (1)

Today the weather was holding up; just some raindrops here and there. And we could see some progress with the fence. After the old fence was removed on the back side of our property, we could replace some of the brackets and secure the rails with better screws. Because, we had to hold the rails in place and level them, before we could tighten everything up, that was the hard part up front. Once that was done, the rest was “easy peasy lemon squeezy”. The pickets for the privacy fence were installed in no time. Tomorrow, we will work on the section on the right side. Seeing the the difference between old and new, makes the new fence look great already.

Fixing Our Fence In The Cool Weather

Our fence guy works on our fence since the last couple of days. He straightened the posts which started to lea, so far. Whoever poured that concrete for the fence two decades ago, either didn’t know what they were doing, or they were drunk. There are posts, they have hundreds of pounds of concrete on the bottom. It makes no sense. If they had poured a fifth of the concrete, it had done the same job holding up those posts. However, this is how it is: As soon as we started with refurbishing the house several years ago, we’ve noticed all the shortcuts and lazy work, that has been done in and around the house. SIGH! If everything was near perfect, it would be boring I guess.

This morning, we had temperatures below freezing. And then the wind was so cold, that I had to start a fire in the chiminea. Once we warmed up, it was easier to handle the cooler temperatures. Zoey didn’t mind this weather. As long as the sun shone on her fur and she could chew up her stick, she was fine. Tomorrow, it suppose to rain. We’ll see how far we get, if we get something done. If we don’t do the fence, it will be a perfect opportunity to get some of the garage cleaned out.

Christmas Tree Ornaments 2020 (1)

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

Sara found a bag with vintage wooden Christmas ornaments and cute glass ornaments in one of the boxes. She decided to hang up the older figurines instead of the straw ornaments, this year. This Christmas will be special. It will be the last one in our Texas house.

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

The First Advent Sunday 2020

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Today, we celebrate the 1st Advent.

Blessed First Advent!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

Sara Decorates The Christmas Tree 2020

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

Sara wanted to decorate our Christmas tree, today. After Kevin helped her with the light chains, she was ready to hang the ornaments. I have to say, she did really well. Here in there are still some gaps. But that’s alright. We’ll fix that throughout the season. The tree branches have to open up a bit more, before we see, what needs to be adjusted. So far, the tree looks excellent. Now, our whole family is in the spirit of Christmas/Yule.

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

Christmas Lights 2020

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„

Traditionally, Kevin installs the Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving. When I came out this afternoon, he and the girls had most of the lights and characters set up in our front yard. After purchasing a fresh Christmas tree and wreath, we worked on the outdoor light a bit longer. I had to readjust some of the Disney items to move them away from the slight slope. There are still plenty of cords laying around. Hopefully tomorrow, we get more lights done.

In the evening, I captured more photos. When the lights turned on, it was more fun to photograph the Christmas scene in our front yard. We had to get rid of one of our snowmen. The cables were chewed through by some critter last year. The deer and the sleigh will go after Christmas. The lighter we travel to our new destination, the better. Once we are in our new home, we can add more lights, again.

β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„β›„οΈπŸŽ„